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

North Dakota: Fort Berthold 3C-3D survey starting

Jun 13, 2012

3D Geophysical Inc., Houston, has reached agreement with the Three Affiliated Tribes of the Fort Berthold Reservation to conduct a three component 3D seismic survey covering 1000 sq miles of the reservation.


Rangeland ships first Bakken crude from rail terminal

Jun 11, 2012

Rangeland Energy LLC has shipped the first 120-car unit train from its COLT open-access crude oil marketing terminal in the North Dakota portion of the Bakken shale.

Mandan refinery expansion nearly complete

Jun 8, 2012

Tesoro Corp. expects to complete the expansion of its refinery at Mandan, ND, by the end of June, according to Greg Goff, president and chief executive officer.

Mild winter helps North Dakota boost oil production

May 25, 2012

A mild, dry winter during 2011-12 enabled producers to boost oil production from North Dakota’s Bakken formation in the Williston basin where advances in unconventional drilling continue to be made, according to Steve Carroll, ConocoPhillips drilling and completion manager.

Magnum Hunter unit to buy Bakken assets from Baytex

May 23, 2012

Bakken Hunter LLC, a subsidiary of Magnum Hunter Resources Corp., closed a $312 million acquisition of Baytex Energy Corp.’s nonoperated interests in North Dakota.

Denbury updates EOR floods, Bakken production

Apr 16, 2012

Denbury Resources Inc., Plano, Tex., estimated its production in the quarter ended Mar. 31 to have been 71,532 b/d of oil equivalent, 93% oil and an 8% increase from the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2011.

Oneok to build Bakken-to-Cushing crude oil pipeline

Apr 9, 2012

Oneok Partners LP plans to invest $1.5-1.8 billion between now and 2015 to build a 1,300-mile, 200,000 b/d crude oil pipeline—the Bakken Crude Express Pipeline—between the Bakken shale and Cushing, Okla.

Bakken's maximum potential oil production rate explored

Apr 2, 2012

North Dakota began producing oil in 1951, and production in the late 1970s reached 100,000 b/d where it remained until the early 2000s.

Continental to buy Wheatland, Bakken interests

Mar 28, 2012

Continental Resources Inc., Oklahoma City, will buy the assets of Wheatland Oil Inc., Enid, Okla., which consist of 5% of the interest acquired by Continental Resources in all leases and wells in a defined part of the Bakken play pursuant to a participation agreement effective Jan. 1, 2012.

Bakken, other plays boosting Saskatchewan’s attractiveness

Mar 5, 2012

Saskatchewan is estimated to have 45.6 billion bbl of conventional oil in place, and the Canadian province is benefiting from renewed plays in the Bakken and other tight oil and gas formations.

Another Williston diesel refinery studied

Feb 22, 2012

Another refinery designed to produce diesel from Bakken crude oil is in prospect in the Williston basin.

TransCanada moves projected Keystone XL start-up to 2015

Feb 20, 2012

TransCanada has moved its expected in-service date for the Keystone XL crude pipeline to early 2015, a 1-year delay from previous statements.

Exploration and men's minds

Feb 20, 2012

Geologists mulling the world's great discoveries of 2011 might be reminded of basins they have explored without making a big find. Perhaps the Great Basin is one of those places.

Saddle Butte proposes Bakken oil pipeline

Feb 15, 2012

Saddle Butte Pipeline LLC, Durango, Colo., has begun a binding open season for capacity commitments on a proposed crude oil pipeline connecting expanding Bakken shale production in the Williston basin of North Dakota with a transport hub at Clearbrook, Minn.

Williston diesel-naphtha refinery proposed

Feb 8, 2012

Dakota Oil Processing LLC, Williston, ND, is seeking financing and permits to build a $200 million, 20,000 b/d topping refinery in Williams County 16 miles southwest of Williston to produce mainly diesel to support the Bakken oil play and other local markets.

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