Independents nurtured Bakken to economic producibility

Shale formations can contain vast stores of hydrocarbons, and it can take industry decades to develop them commercially.The recent federal estimation of 4.3 billion bbl of undiscovered, technically recoverable oil in the Williston basin Bakken shale pretty much mirror’s the beliefs of newly public Continental Resources Inc., Enid, Okla., the Bakken’s largest oil producing company (see map, OGJ, Apr. 24, 2008, p. 37).As the Fort Worth basin Barnett shale had a 20-year gestation period to commerciality with Mitchell Energy & Development Corp. in Texas, Continental’s Chairman Harold G. Hamm can trace his company’s foray into the Bakken since the 1980s.Hamm’s...

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