Posted: Apr 30, 2013 10:54 PM by Jay Kohn - Billings
Updated: Apr 30, 2013 10:55 PM
A new government survey now estimates that the amount of recoverable oil in the Bakken area of eastern Montana and western North Dakota is actually double previous estimates.
The last assessment by the U.S. Geological Survey of the Bakken was done in 2008.
At that time, the government agency estimated there was 3.65 billion barrels of undiscovered oil.
But since then, another 4,000 wells have been drilled, providing new subsurface geologic data, including a wealth of information about the Three Forks formation that sits below the Bakken.
This new information about the Three Forks literally doubles the amount of recoverable oil to 7.4 billion barrels of undiscovered, recoverable oil.
The survey also indicated that the amount of natural gas is three times what was first thought.
Dave Galt with the Montana Petroleum Association says the twofold increase in the estimate of recoverable oil is a game changer for the Bakken boom.
Previously very little data existed on the Three Forks formation and it was generally thought to be unproductive.
But new drilling resulted in a new understanding of the reservoir and its resource potential.
This new assessment is part of a nationwide project assessing all U.S. petroleum basins.