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

BHI: US rig count cut in more than half since Dec. 5

Apr 17, 2015

The US drilling rig count fell 34 units—all on land—to 954 rigs working during the week ended Apr. 17, according to data from Baker Hughes Inc.

Virginia taskforce says oil train safety largely up to federal officials

Apr 10, 2015

A Virginia Railroad Safety and Security Task Force issued a draft report saying rail safety issues are largely up to the US government to address. The taskforce was formed in response to an Apr. 30, 2014, derailment of a train carrying crude oil from the Bakken formation to York County, Va.

BHI: US rig count decline slows; production increases

Apr 2, 2015

The US drilling rig count dropped 20 units—with just slightly more than half targeting oil—to settle at 1,028 rigs working during the shortened week ended Apr. 2, according to data from Baker Hughes Inc.

North Dakota joins Wyoming in lawsuit challenging federal fracing rule

Apr 1, 2015

The North Dakota Industrial Commission has voted to join Wyoming in a lawsuit challenging a new rule issued by the US Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management, which includes requirements for publicly disclosing chemicals using in hydraulic fracturing.

Seismic activity linked to injection wells may vary by region

Mar 31, 2015

The US portion of the Williston basin produced fewer earthquakes caused by wastewater injection than basins in Texas, University of Texas at Austin researchers found.

Kinder Morgan Inc. purchased Hiland Partners for $3 billion

Mar 31, 2015

Kinder Morgan Inc. acquired Hiland Partners, a small pipeline operator, in a deal that gave KMI what Moody's described as KMI's "initial footprint in the Bakken" and helped diversify the largest US midstream company's crude oil transportation business.

Oil prices cross North Dakota tax threshold

Mar 31, 2015

It's limited to the first 75,000 bbl of oil produced from a new well or the first $4.5 million of gross value oil produced from that well.

Examiner stalls Shell's Bakken Rail Plans for Anacortes pending Environmental review

Mar 31, 2015

A Skagit County hearing examiner in Mount Vernon, Wa., halted Royal Dutch Shell's plans to move Bakken crude oil by rail to Shell's Anacortes refinery in northwest Washington state pending environmental and public health risk reviews, which could take at least 1 year.

Bakken Briefs

Mar 31, 2015

Pipeline leaks Bakken oil into Yellowstone River

Mar 31, 2015

Ice on the Yellowstone River delayed cleanup efforts by response crews after a section of Bridger Pipeline LLC's Poplar Pipeline, which runs under the river, ruptured and spilled Bakken crude oil, said the US Environmental Protection Agency.

Bakken crude derailments spur rail safety concern

Mar 31, 2015

Recent derailments of trains carrying Bakken crude oil prompted elected officials across various states to request that federal regulators expedite efforts addressing the safety of moving crude oil by rail.

EIA: US oil output growth in 2014 largest in more than 100 years

Mar 30, 2015

US crude oil production, including lease condensate, increased during 2014 by 1.2 million b/d to 8.7 million b/d, the largest rise in volume since recordkeeping began in 1900, according to data from the US Energy Information Administration.

US drilling slump a tough start to market correction

Mar 30, 2015

Two changes essential to reversal of a sagging oil market are coming into view: Supply expectations are falling, while demand looks-well, at least stronger than it did a few months ago.

DOE report identifies deficiencies in crude oil analysis techniques

Mar 30, 2015

A US Department of Energy report found gaps in important crude oil characterization data, uncertainty about how to best sample and analyze crude to ensure its properties are determined accurately, and deficiencies in understanding how a crude's properties affect its potential to accidentally ignite, combust, and explode.

Analysts: Oil industry dealing with downturn better than years’ past

Mar 26, 2015

Investment bankers and analysts entrenched in the oil and gas industry say US companies have so far staved off the major negative impacts of the current industry downturn better than previous downturns by acting more proactively and aggressively.

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