.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
News

Frac Sand Not In South Dakota

South Dakota sand won’t be used for North Dakota fracking.  

In hydraulic fracturing high pressure water and chemicals mixed with some sand are pumped underground to break the rocks below the surface and open fractures for oil to flow into production wells. Some state officials hoped South Dakota would have the right quality of sand for use in hydraulic fracturing.
 
Darren Johnson  is with the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources.  He took part in a study looking for frac sand in the state.  He says South Dakota sand just doesn’t meet the bar.

“Now that’s not to say some of these sand deposits might have certain grains or portions of the sands that could be used as hydraulic fracturing of sands but you’d probably have to find a market for some of the coarser or finer sand grains to make it economical to mine,” says Johnson.

Johnson says frac sand has to be 99% quartz with just the right sized and shaped sand grains.  Frac sand mining is now a major spin-off industry that supplies the key ingredient used to exploit oil in places like the Bakken oil field.