Tuesday, October 23, 2012

ND Clay Deposits Analyzed for Fracking Use

North Dakota geologists reportedly are analyzing clay deposits in the southwestern part of the state to determine whether they hold minerals that can be used by the oil industry. Preliminary studies indicate the deposits contain aluminum oxide, which is used in hydraulic fracturing as a proppant to brace cracks in the surrounding rock so the oil can be pumped out. Since proppant material currently is imported from outside the U.S., state officials say the oil industry could save millions of dollars by having access to a local source. Read more...

Update 10/14/2012

Geologists reportedly have determined there are 1.7 billion tons of kaolin in western North Dakota that could be economically mined. Kaolin is a mineral that commonly contains high amounts of alumimun oxide. The two major deposits of kaolin mapped by geologists are the Bear Den portion of the Golden Valley Formation, located mostly in Dunn County, and the Rhame Bed of the Slope Formation, located primarily in the western half of Stark County. Read more

Update 10/23/2012

The North Dakota State University Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering has released initial findings of a study of 200 clay samples provided by the North Dakota State Geological Survey. The NDSU scientists report a smaller percentage of alumina in the clay than in the analysis on approximately 60 samples done last year by the State Geological Survey. Read more

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