In 2014, the North Dakota Pipeline Company (NDPC) wanted an assessment of the aggregate resources along a proposed pipeline route. Some landowners along the route were claiming the pipeline would impinge on their ability to access minable sand and gravel. NDPC, a subsidiary of Enbridge, needed assistance with its negotiations with landowners through North Dakota and Minnesota, so it hired Barr to evaluate the potential resource volume and marketability of the aggregate resources on roughly twelve parcels along the corridor.
Barr performed a limited desktop geological study for each parcel to identify the likelihood of resource presence. This study included the review of several digital information sources such as surficial geological maps, Natural Resources Conservation Services soil mapping, state well log databases, topographic and aerial photographic maps, digital elevation maps, and wetland maps. The topographic, aerial, and surficial geological maps were used to develop an understanding of the potential for glacial deposits, which are known to be high in aggregate content.
Barr’s assessment helped verify whether sand and gravel resources existed on each parcel, inform of the feasibility of mining and the marketability of the product, estimate the volume of marketable material, and run market-based valuation scenarios to assess the valuation of the deposit.
We performed our desktop study for a fraction of the cost of field investigations at each parcel. To date, NDPC has been using Barr’s limited desktop study to successfully negotiate the easement right-of-way through parcels for its pipeline.