Q: What is the Torpedo Project?
A: The Torpedo Project is an onshore oil and gas exploration project that contemplates the drilling and completion of 11 horizontal Bakken wells in Mountrail County, North Dakota. The wells will be drilled from a single pad site called the Torpedo Multi-Well Pad Site. The actual production facilities – such as the oil storage tanks, the heater treaters, combustion devices, measuring equipment and other production equipment – will be located remotely on the Torpedo Production Pad, approximately one mile north of the Torpedo Multi-Well Pad Site.

Q: Who is the operator of the Torpedo Project?
A: Slawson Exploration Company, Inc. is the operator of the Torpedo Project. Slawson has drilled more than 4,000 wells nationwide and has operated oil and gas wells in the Williston Basin since 1975. Slawson has drilled more than 300 horizontal wells in the Williston Basin.

Q: Where is the Torpedo Project?
A: The Torpedo wells will be located southeast of New Town, North Dakota, near the Van Hook fishing village and Lake Sakakawea.

Q: Is the Torpedo Project on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation?
A: Yes, the Torpedo Multi-Well Pad Site will be located within the exterior boundaries of the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation. The project is being developed on private lands and will be targeting private, state and federal minerals. The surface location of the Torpedo Multi-Well Pad Site is currently being utilized for agricultural purposes. The Torpedo Project will not produce any Tribal minerals and will not impact or utilize any lands owned by the MHA Tribe or any allottee.

Q: Why two pads, not one pad?
A: Slawson wants to minimize the impact of the Torpedo Project near the Van Hook fishing village and Lake Sakakawea. By segregating the producing wells on one pad and the production facilities on a remote site almost a mile away to the north, Slawson will minimize the visual impact of the project and dramatically reduce truck traffic near the lake and the Van Hook fishing village.

Q: Describe the Torpedo Multi-Well Pad
A: The Torpedo Multi-Well Pad will cover 9.4 acres on private lands and will be used for the drilling, completion and artificial lift of 11 horizontal wells that will extract oil and natural gas from the Bakken formation.

Q: Will the Torpedo Multi-Well Pad have an impact on the Van Hook boat ramp?
A: No, the Van Hook boat ramp will not be impacted by either the Torpedo Multi-Well Pad Site nor the Torpedo Production Pad. All drilling activities associated with the development of the Torpedo Project will occur approximately 700 feet north of the boat ramp and away from public access to the recreation area. The constructed Torpedo Production Pad is located approximately a mile north of the boat ramp and recreation areas.

Q: Will this project impact the residents of the Van Hook fishing village?
A: There are very few permanent residents in the fishing village, with the highest occupancy occurring during the summer months. The Torpedo Multi-Well Pad Site meets all regulatory requirements for setbacks from residential housing. The drilling and completion operations associated with this project will be temporary and will have minimal impact on the surrounding area. In order to reduce air emissions and attenuate noise from drilling operations, Slawson will utilize drilling rigs powered by electricity, rather than diesel engines.

Q: Will these be the closest oil and gas wells to Lake Sakakawea?
A: No, there are 125 producing wells and 37 permitted wells that are closer to the lake than the Torpedo wells.

Q: Describe the Torpedo Production Pad
A: The Torpedo Production Pad has been constructed and is approximately one mile north of the Torpedo Multi-Well Pad. The production site will contain all production equipment, such as storage tanks, heater-treaters, combustion devices and metering equipment. You will not be able to see the Torpedo Production Pad from the boat ramp.

Q: When will the Torpedo wells be drilled?
A: Drilling begins in early 2017 and is scheduled to be completed in the spring of 2018. Government agencies and the public requested that we drill the wells during late fall to early spring when fishing and recreational activities are at their lowest levels.

Q: Will the Torpedo wells be hydraulically fractured and is hydraulic fracturing safe?
A: Like all oil and gas wells drilled in the Bakken, the Torpedo wells will be horizontal wells and will be hydraulically fractured. Hydraulic fracturing has been safely done since 1949. To learn more about hydraulic fracturing visit the FracFocus website.

Q: What is being done to protect the community and surrounding environment?
A: Slawson has prepared numerous environmental protection programs specific to this project. Those programs include, but are not limited to:

  • Oil Spill Contingency Plan
  • Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure Plan
  • Emergency Response Plan
  • Wildlife Protection & Critical Habitat Mitigation Plan
  • Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan

Through collaborative efforts with state and federal agencies, the following best management practices are planned for the project:

  • Utilization of an electric-powered drilling rig to reduce emissions and noise pollution.
  • Location of the Torpedo Production Pad Site away from residences and public recreation.
  • Utilization of unique pumping units with limited moving parts and environmental containment vessels, painted to blend into the background environment.

Q: Who are the stakeholders involved in this project?
A: Slawson worked with a variety of stakeholders through the four-year process of planning, analyzing and mitigating the concerns of this development project. The process involved multiple meetings with stakeholders, including two public-comment periods that were open to everyone. Those stakeholders include, but are not limited to:

  • Bureau of Land Management
  • North Dakota Industrial Commission
  • North Dakota Governor’s Office
  • US Army Corps of Engineers
  • US Fish and Wildlife Service
  • ND State Fish and Game
  • ND Department of Health
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • MHA Energy and Three Affiliated Tribes
  • Tribal Historic Preservation Office and ND State Historic Preservation Office
  • Mountrail County
  • Residents and other public entities

Q: Is there an Emergency Response Plan in place?
A: Slawson is a founding member of the Lake Sakakawea Area Spill Response team (SASR), and has access to spill response equipment that is staged in the vicinity. Our employees have been properly trained to coordinate response efforts. An Emergency Response Plan and Oil Spill Contingency Plan have been developed to ensure a timely and effective response to any undesirable event. We have worked closely with government agencies and local responders to ensure effective implementation of these plans should the unlikely event that a well-control issue arises.

Q: What will truck traffic be like near the Van Hook area?
A: By locating the Torpedo Production Pad a mile north of the well pad we have moved most of the truck traffic well away from the Van Hook fishing village and the Lake Sakakawea public use areas.

Slawson plans to reduce truck traffic at the well site during completion operations by staging fresh water delivery at the Torpedo Production Pad site and transporting water to the well site through a “lay-flat” pipeline system. This process will eliminate roughly 600 water trucks per day coming into and out of the Torpedo Multi-Pad Well Site. Slawson will also utilize an oil gathering system to transport oil from the wells to the Torpedo Production Pad site, which will eliminate approximately 45 oil transport trucks coming into and out of the well site per day.

Q: What is the economic impact associated with the development of the Torpedo wells?
A: The total extraction and production taxes from the Torpedo Project are estimated to total $36,800,000, of which 50 percent ($18,400,000) will go to the Three Affiliated Tribes and 50 percent to the state of North Dakota.

Q: Is there an email address to send questions and comments?
A: Yes, you can send all comments and inquiries to

Q: Is there an emergency contact number?
A: In case of an Emergency call 877.257.5793. Emergency contact numbers can also be found on the lease signs at all Slawson Exploration locations.