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North Dakota Geological Survey


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The North Dakota Geological Survey, a division of the North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources, is conducting an assessment of the Shallow Natural Gas Resource Potential of North Dakota.

A valuable component of the research portion of this investigation is the collection of anecdotal information about occurrences of shallow natural gas across the state.  This anecdotal information may be in the form of a story or personal account of gas emanating from a well, or gas encountered while digging or drilling a private residential or farm well, or while conducting general excavation.

Your story may be very significant!  We would encourage you to share your story with us by way of this web site page and link.  Simply click on the submit your story link below and send us an email message with your story or other information.  Individual submissions will be reviewed by the geological staff of the Survey for inclusion into the North Dakota Geological Survey Online Database of Shallow Natural Gas Occurrences in North Dakota that will be available soon on this web site. 

Please include your contact information with your submittals so that our staff can follow-up with you on a one-on-one basis.  We look forward to hearing your stories.  Perhaps it will be your story that leads to the next great shallow natural gas discovery in our state!

A story on the use of shallow natural gas from the area around Edgeley, North Dakota (from Hard, 1920)

“One of the  first to use gas was Mr. Sturgeon who was permitted to tap the town well water main.  The home and store were lighted, the cooking done and a heating range operated for a few years.  When a town settling tank was installed this supply was diverted and used buy the town electric lighting company until the faultily constructed tank was exploded by an inquisitive traveling man testing its escape thru a hole with a match!  The tank was not replaced.”

Another story from the Edgeley area (from Hard, 1920)

“In 1906 Miss Soby installed a lighting system in the Northern Hotel.  Fifteen lights and a heater were maintained for two years.  The type of gas storage tank, used at this location and elsewhere, was an inverted cylinder of sheet-iron about 15 feet in diameter.  The well pipe conducted the water directly underneath the inner tank where the gas escaped from the water and was caught.  Once the tank was filled, surplus gas would readily escape.  The top of the tank was sufficiently weighted to produce the requisite pressure to force the gas into the house…”

Northern Hotel Natural Gas photo
      Storage tank for natural gas at the Northern Hotel in Edgeley, LaMoure County, North Dakota around 1920. This tank was once used to collect gas from an artesian well in the area. The gas was used to light the hotel (from Hard, 1920).

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