Skip to main content

North Dakota and Fracking

Frack Target: Bakken Formation

Water Resources at Risk: Williston Basin, including Lake Sakakawea, Missouri River, White Earth River, Little Muddy River, Little Missouri River and others

Gas development has skyrocketed in recent years in North Dakota, causing the state to surpass Alaska in oil production. This oil rush has had a negative impact on both environment and community resources. In 2011 alone, North Dakota reported more than 1,000 accidental releases of oil, drilling wastewater or other fluids; though many more releases went unreported when companies illegally dumped toxic fluid. Of these spills, in about two-thirds of cases, material was not contained to the accident site and leaked into the ground or waterways. On the home front, farmers are impacted when spills, some as large as 24 acres, destroy cropland possibly for decades to come. Ranchers are worried that local water supplies affected by fracking waste have had a noticeable effect on the health of their livestock and animals. Additionally, the oil boom has strained local resources, drove housing prices up, and disrupted rural communities.

Below is a map of some of the high profile incidents ("fraccidents") related to the country's gas drilling boom that have already occurred in North Dakota. Click on any fraccident to learn more.


View Fraccidents Map in a larger map

Get Involved in the Latest Fight in North Dakota

BismarckBakken Watch

Groups Fighting Fracking in North Dakota

View other states affected by fracking:

Related Features

Things Find A Way: An Animated Video About Fracking

Things always find a way to happen … A pen leaking. Your shoelace coming untied. Toxic chemicals in your drinking water. What?! Watch this video to learn how the more oil and gas companies frack, the more trouble is finding ways to happen.

Kids Speak Up On Fracking

The oil and gas industry tried to silence 7- and 10-year-old siblings with a gag order after their parents sued. But the industry can't silence all children.

Fighting Fracking Across the U.S.

In communities across the country, people are standing up to the fracking industry, passing bans and limits on fracking and defending their right to do so in court. And when the oil and gas industry tries to bully communities into backing down, communities are fighting back—and winning. Learn about some of these fights.