Gasland 2: HBO Documentary Takes a Shot at Fracking, Backbone of - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Gasland 2: HBO Documentary Takes a Shot at Fracking, Backbone of ND Oil Industry

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   A documentary called, "Gasland, Part 2" airing on HBO Monday night, claims in part that fracking, the process used in North Dakota oil drilling can pollute underground water. However, local experts say it's a documentary that just doesn't add up.

 Gasland Documentary: "We lived here 40-years and never had a problem with the water. They drilled… after they drilled the water was bad."

  The documentary, Gasland Part 2 claims that fracking can pollute groundwater. It's the process of injecting water and some chemicals at high pressure underground, to break apart rock, and release oil and natural gas.

Gasland Documentary: "I don't know how they even drink it to be honest with you. It's the damndest smelling stuff… oh, man>"

Reporter: "So you're not worried that 50-years from now when you go get a drink of water in western North Dakota it will be polluted from fracking?"

Lance Yarbrough, UND Geological Engineer: "No. Not from the fracking process. It's too deep."

   Yarbrough is a doctor of geological engineering at UND. He says the documentary Gasland does not add up.

Marathon Oil Video, Fracking: "Shale reserves are usually 1 mile or more below the surface. Well below any underground source of drinking water."

  Yarbrough says fracking takes place at a minimum of one mile below any aquifers or ground water in western North Dakota.

Lance Yarbrough, UND Geological Engineer: "They're very deep. You're talking about 8, 9, 10-thousand feet on where you're drilling and the fresh water, potable wells that we have for towns…. That you turn your faucet on and get the water… those are only about one to two-thousand feet."

  Plus, Yarbrough says the fracking process only goes out around 400-feet from where the high pressure water is injected, so it's never even close to ground water. Again, he says where all this is happening… is at least one-mile below any ground water in western North Dakota.


  Yarbrough says the biggest pollution concern may come from the quick development of sewer systems and other water handling facilities, as western North Dakota goes through its building boom.

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