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This material, pictured next to a penny to show its size, is a proppant used in the hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, process that has allowed oil drillers to retrieve oil stuck deep within the Bakken. A large mass of clay material that's good for use as a proppant has been located in Stark and Dunn counties.

Clay under Stark, Dunn counties a boon: Study reveals massive load of fracking material

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Could a certain type of clay prominent in western North Dakota make the hydraulic fracturing process easier for energy companies while simultaneously providing even more of an economic boost to the Oil Patch?

The foremost geologist in the state thinks both scenarios could become reality.

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Bryan Horwath
A Wisconsin native, Horwath has been covering news in the Oil Patch of North Dakota since 2012. Horwath currently serves as the senior agriculture and political reporter for The Dickinson Press and, despite the team's tendency to always let him down, remains a diehard Minnesota Vikings fan.
(701) 456-1207
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