Possible Garrison Dam Oil Drilling | VideoRene Thibault | 9/13/2012
According to Todd Lindquist, the Operations Project Manager for the US Army Corps of Engineers, it`s standard procedure before drilling for oil.
“The seismic testing is private companies doing seismic evaluations to determine the extent of the mineral reserves below the reservoir”.
These tests send pulses of air into the water to help companies determine the size of a mineral reserve. Before these tests can begin, studies are being done by the Fish and Wildlife Department to determine if there are any harmful impacts.
If the Fish and Wildlife Department studies give the okay for the seismic testing, and oil companies decide to drill around Garrison Dam, the rigs won`t actually be sitting on the water’s surface, like you see off the coast.
“With current technology and horizontal directional boring, they`re about to go out to about two miles horizontally. So they don`t physically have to be on the reservoir, they do down and then underneath the reservoir,” said Lindquist.
With any water related drilling, there is always the potential for oil spills. Some North Dakota residents have their concerns for the plans.
“You don`t have to drill underneath our lake, that`s the way I really do feel about it, I don`t have a right where to tell all the oil companies where they can drill, but at the same time I am concerned about our water source,” said Walhalla resident Robert Lee.
There is no time-table set for how long the studies will take. If they pass inspection, it will only be a matter of time before oil companies move down the lake and start drilling in the Garrison Dam area.