Nearly one million barrels of crude are produced in North Dakota every day. The core and samples at UND has helped workers know where to look for oil. Now, it’s going through some changes to benefit the industry even more. Harold Hamm, founder of Continental Resources, utilized the core and sample library at UND to look at where they needed to drill next.
The core library as been around since the 1930s and houses more than 20,000 samples, totaling over 135 miles of Earth. Now, UND is taking a portion of this library and bringing it into the digital world. Scientists and researchers have the ability to look at this rock in a way that they have never been able to look at before. PetroArc International, a digital imaging company, is teaming up with UND to make core samples easier to access while providing a new way to look at them. This allows everyone to be able to look at the same thing simultaneously, which in turn opens the level of communication to a degree that has never been available before. High resolutions photos are taken, researchers can turn their computers into a digital microscope to view these images.
This program isn’t just helping the oil industry, it helps students as well. Students can take a virtual field trip to all parts of North Dakota’s past. This is a very powerful tool to facilitate the understanding of formations and how to be more efficient in extracting hydrocarbons from these formations.