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Photo Courtesy of Vern Whitten Photography Six Hess Corporation wells on a single pad about eight miles northwest of Ross are shown in this summer photo. Arranging wells like this, rather than spreading them out, consolidates the impacts on nearby landowners and the environment, state and industry officials say.

Consolidating for a smaller ‘footprint’

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Multi-well pads are becoming bigger and a more common sight in the western North Dakota Oil Patch.

The pads consolidate impacts to nearby landowners and the environment to one concentrated spot, rather than single wells being sprinkled across the landscape.

The wells’ coziness doesn’t extend underground though — horizontal drilling allows the wells to start in one spot but spawn in various directions, to wherever the oil is.

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