ND oil regulators consider drilling unit near Lake Sakakawea

April 4, 2018

XTO Energy proposes to develop more than 26,000 acres near Lake Sakakawea as one large drilling unit, a plan the company says will allow oil wells to be located farther away from the lake.

Company representatives said Wednesday that developing the oil resources as one large unit rather than smaller individual spacing units will allow more oil to be recovered while reducing impacts to the sensitive terrain.

"A more comprehensive plan would reduce surface disturbance, reduce truck traffic and also reduce flaring," Deni Wieland, an engineer for XTO Energy, said during a North Dakota Oil and Gas Division hearing.

But representatives from Petrogulf Corp., one of an estimated 150 working interest owners within the proposed unit, objected to the proposal, known as the Hofflund-Bakken Unit.

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