DOE drilling project studies ND rock 16,000 feet down (January 2016)

Two entities with a great deal of experience in the Bakken will be working with the Battelle laboratories on a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) drilling project in North Dakota that’s not looking for oil.

Battelle’s partners on the DOE research project near Rugby, North Dakota, are the University of North Dakota (UND) Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC), Schlumberger and Solexperts, a Swiss geologic testing company. Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, Battelle is the world’s largest nonprofit research and development organization.

Rod Osborne, Battelle’s energy business line manager, said that although some of the drilling done by Schlumberger will be similar to that in the Bakken for oil and gas, its purpose is to gather data on crystalline bedrock formations 16,000 feet below the surface. DOE will study their suitability for nuclear waste storage.

In fact, Osborne said the site was selected because it was far from oil and gas activity in the Williston Basin.

“DOE didn’t want to go into an area that already had a lot of drilling activity,” he explained. “They wanted it in a seismically inactive area with no known faults or fractures deep underground.”


By Patrick C. Miller | January 20, 2016, The Bakken Magazine, at

%d bloggers like this: