Bakken Shale

Bakken Shale ImageThe Bakken shale is primarily an oil play. It straddles the US border with Canada and runs through two states – North Dakota and Montana – and two Canadian provinces – Saskatchewan and Manitoba. The US Geological Survey estimates there are 3.65 billion barrels of recoverable crude oil in the Bakken, which would make it the largest oil field in the US outside Alaska. The Bakken is located in the Williston Basin, but not all of the basin includes the Bakken.

The Sanish-Three Forks area is located below the Bakken shale zone and is potentially another new oil reservoir. Brigham Exploration Co. has been active in this area. Natural gas is also found in some parts of the Bakken. The USGS estimates there is about 2.0 trillion cubic feet of gas and another 150 million barrels of natural gas liquids. Major players in the Bakken include EOG Resources, Continental Resources, and Enerplus Resources.

Bakken Shale Map

Bakken Shale News

WoodMac: Strong upstream M&A activity forecast in 2011

Jan 26, 2011

Keen interest in shale plays is expected to propel strong upstream merger and acquisition activity this year, said Wood Mackenzie Ltd. analysts.

TransCanada proceeds with Cushing-to-Gulf Coast oil line

Jan 27, 2011

TransCanada Corp. will proceed with its Cushing Marketlink crude pipeline project, having received sufficient market support in the project’s open season. Cushing Marketlink will have capacity to move 150,000 b/d from Cushing, Okla. to the US Gulf Coast.

Supply, demand trends still drive oil prices, Senate panel told

Feb 8, 2011

Political unrest across North Africa may have fueled short-term global crude oil price increases but likely won’t have the same long-run impacts as supply and demand changes in response to economic growth, experts told the US Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on Feb. 3.

TransCanada begins Keystone oil deliveries to Cushing

Feb 9, 2011

TransCanada Corp. has begun commercial deliveries of crude oil to Cushing, Okla., on the second phase of its $12 billion Keystone Pipeline system.

Brent tops WTI as benchmark

Feb 14, 2011

As the international benchmark other crudes are priced against, “West Texas Intermediate is dead, long live North Sea Brent,” said analysts in the Houston office of Raymond James & Associates Inc.

Vantage applies to NEB for North Dakota-Alberta ethane line

Feb 14, 2011

Vantage Pipeline Canada Inc. applied to Canada’s National Energy Board (NEB) for a certificate to construct and operate the Vantage Pipeline Project.

Bakken success turns private firms into targets

Feb 15, 2011

Smaller private operators with some of the best acreage and wells in the Bakken/Three Forks shale play in North Dakota are “nearly certain to attract interest from potential suitors,” concluded a study by IHS Herold.

Deutsche Bank: Pipelines explain WTI discount to Brent

Feb 16, 2011

Increased pipeline capacity to bring crude oil to Cushing, Okla., has resulted in more oil flowing into PADD 2 than the refinery system there can handle, and therefore the landlocked crude is trading at a persistently wide discount to comparable global crudes, according to a research note released this week by Deutsche Bank Securities Inc.

Enbridge books capacity for Bakken crude pipeline expansion

Feb 18, 2011

Enbridge Energy Partners LP and Enbridge Income Fund Holdings Inc. finalized 100,000 b/d of open season capacity commitments with additional shippers for the Bakken Expansion Program on the Enbridge North Dakota System, owned by EEP, and the Enbridge Saskatchewan System, owned by the Enbridge Income Fund.

Tesoro to expand North Dakota refinery

Mar 21, 2011

Tesoro Corp. will expand crude capacity of its 58,000-b/d refinery at Mandan, ND, to 68,000 b/d to handle oil from the Bakken shale and elsewhere in the Williston basin.

NEB sets public hearings for Enbridge Bakken pipeline

Mar 22, 2011

Canada’s National Energy Board intends to hold a public hearing to consider an application submitted by Enbridge Bakken Pipeline Co. Inc. for its proposed Bakken Pipeline Canada Project.

Petral: Mont Belvieu fractionation in surplus until 2014-15

Apr 6, 2011

Consultants Petral Worldwide Inc. forecast a surplus in Mont Belvieu, Tex.-area fractionation capacity until 2014-15, depending on construction schedules for new pipelines into the region.

EIA updates energy outlook reference case

Apr 28, 2011

Strong growth in shale gas production, increasing use of natural gas and renewable energy sources in electric power generation, and declining reliance on imported liquid fuels are some of the findings in the latest energy outlook from the US Energy Information Administration.

Hess awards design for North Dakota gas plant expansion

May 24, 2011

Hess Corp., Houston, has awarded a contract for detailed design and procurement to Mustang Engineering, a Houston-based Wood Group company, for expansion of Hess’s Tioga natural gas plant in the Bakken oil play in northwestern North Dakota.

Vaalco Energy buys Montana Bakken acreage

Jun 2, 2011

Vaalco Energy Inc. is buying a 70% working interest in 5,214 acres of the Bakken play in Sheridan County, Mont., from a privately held company.

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