Monday, May 24, 2010

How much oil and gas are actually in the Bakken Formation? From USGS

Although there have been several published and unpublished estimates of the volumes of oil and gas in the Bakken Formation, there is no agreement on the actual volume of resource remaining in the Formation. There is no way to know how much is in the Bakken Formation or any formation until the area is actually drilled and produced. Estimates are made using the best available information at the time, and different estimates use different assumptions. The USGS uses a consistent methodology, so our estimates are comparable, and our assumption and methodology are published, so people know what we did. Our assessment methodology can be found on-line at

The USGS estimate of 3.0 to 4.3 billion barrels of undiscovered, technically recoverable oil in the Bakken Formation, and a mean estimate of 3.65 billion barrels, is an estimate of what industry may recover if the entire area of prospective Bakken Formation is produced using current technology. The current USGS mean estimate is a 25-fold increase over the previous USGS estimate, in 1995, of 151 million barrels of undiscovered technically recoverable oil in the Bakken Formation. As of August 2009, cumulative oil production from the Bakken Formation totaled about 190 million barrels (up from 164 million barrels in March 2009, 149 million barrels in December 2008 and 135 million barrels in September 2008).

For additional information go to (choose Williston/Bakken in the interactive map to see all available documents).

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