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

WBI launches Dakota natural gas pipeline open season

Jan 30, 2014

WBI Energy Inc., a subsidiary of MDU Resources Group Inc., has launched an open season for its planned 375-mile Dakota natural gas pipeline running from western North Dakota to northwestern Minnesota.

Hess reports $5.8 billion capital budget for 2014

Jan 24, 2014

Hess Corp. reported that its exploration and production capital budget for 2014 is expected to reach $5.8 billion, almost have of which, $2.85 billion, will be spent on unconventional shale resources.

No injuries after collision ignites North Dakota oil train fire

Jan 13, 2014

A BNSF Rail Co. train carrying crude oil caught fire Dec. 30 after it struck a derailed train carrying agricultural products west of Fargo, ND. Residents of the nearby town of Casselton returned to their homes Jan. 1 after a voluntary evacuation order was lifted. No injuries were reported.

Wyden, Rockefeller request crude oil transportation examination

Jan 10, 2014

The chairman of two US Senate committees asked US Sec. of Energy Ernest G. Moniz and US Sec. of Transportation Anthony Foxx to fully examine crude oil transportation in the wake of several recent rail accidents.

EIA: Significant events affected oil markets in 2013

Jan 9, 2014

The US Energy Information Administration listed significant events affecting oil markets in 2013.

EIA: Global oil demand to rise 1.2 million b/d in 2014

Jan 8, 2014

Global liquid fuels consumption is forecast to increase by 1.2 million b/d in 2014 and by another 1.4 million b/d in 2015, according to the US Energy Information Administration’s Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), released this month.

Murkowski: Ban on US crude oil exports should end soon

Jan 8, 2014

Prohibition of US crude oil and condensate exports is an outmoded policy that should end soon as a first step in an overall energy export reassessment and reforms, US Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alas.) declared.

Bakken, Three Forks largest continuous US oil accumulation

Jan 6, 2014

The recent reversal of the declining trend of US oil production is largely due to production from unconventional or "continuous" low-permeability reservoirs by use of multistage hydraulic fracturing of horizontal legs of exploration wells.

PHMSA issues safety alert on Bakken crude flammability

Jan 3, 2014

The US Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued a safety alert to shippers and carriers, emergency responders, and the general public that Bakken crude should be handled carefully because it may be more flammable than other grades.

Shell completes Phase 2 of Ho-Ho crude pipeline reversal

Dec 18, 2013

Shell has completed Phase 2 of its project to reverse the flow direction of the Houma-to-Houston (Ho-Ho) Pipeline, with crude production from inland oil plays such as the Eagle Ford, Bakken, and other shales now able to flow from Texas to Louisiana on the line.


Dec 13, 2013

Efficiency Gains Improve Bakken Production

Dec 13, 2013

Although the number of rigs at work in the Williston basin peaked more than a year ago, production in the Bakken-Three Forks tight oil play continues to grow as operators like Continental Resources find new ways of reducing the amount of time it takes to drill a well and improve completion techniques to enhance recovery.

Bakken operators test Tyler formation in North Dakota

Dec 13, 2013

In southwest North Dakota, vertical wells in the Tyler formation are typically described as "hit or miss."

Marathon to ramp up US resource play activity

Dec 11, 2013

Marathon Oil Corp. plans to accelerate its US resource play activity and market its North Sea assets in 2014, the company said at its analyst day in New York.

Marathon signs as anchor Sandpiper crude line shipper

Nov 26, 2013

Marathon Petroleum Corp. signed with Enbridge Energy Partners LP as an anchor shipper for the Sandpiper Project crude oil pipeline, which will become part of Enbridge's North Dakota System when completed. The companies expect Sandpiper to be operational first-quarter 2016.

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