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

Statoil tackles Bakken flaring with innovation

Jun 10, 2014

Statoil North America Inc. is at the forefront of efforts to reduce flaring in the Bakken shale in North Dakota, pilot-testing a mobile system that converts associated gas into CNG at the wellsite.

Washington refinery finds new owner

Jun 9, 2014

Global commodities logistics and trading firm TrailStone Group has acquired US Oil & Refining Co. (USOR), including the 42,000-b/d Tacoma, Wash., refinery, from Astra Transcor Energy NV, a subsidiary of Compagnie Nationale a Portefeuille SA, Belgium.

Environmental review issued for California refinery revamp

May 27, 2014

California’s Kern County Planning & Community Development Department (KCPCDD) has issued a draft environmental impact report (EIR) for Alon USA Energy Inc.’s request to increase the flexibility of its existing 70,000-b/d Bakersfield, Calif., refinery to process cost-advantaged light crude oils sourced from North American shale regions.

Bakken similar to other light crudes, study for NDPC finds

May 26, 2014

Bakken crude oil is similar to other North American light, sweet grades and does not pose a greater rail transportation risk than other transportation fuels, a study commissioned by the North Dakota Petroleum Council (NDPC) concluded.

Bakken crude within rail car safety design standards, AFPM study says

May 26, 2014

Bakken crude oil is well within the safety standards for current rail car designs, an American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers report concluded.

Hess completes expansion of Tioga gas plant in North Dakota

May 21, 2014

Hess Corp. has completed the expansion of its Tioga gas plant in northwestern North Dakota.

Bakken similar to other light crudes, study for NDPC finds

May 20, 2014

Bakken crude oil is similar to other North American light, sweet grades and does not pose a greater rail transportation risk than other transportation fuels, a study commissioned by the North Dakota Petroleum Council (NDPC) concluded.

NTSB begins investigation of Virginia crude train derailment

May 19, 2014

The National Transportation Safety Board took charge of the investigation into the Apr. 30 derailment of a train carrying crude oil in Lynchburg, Va., but it will be months before conclusions are reached and recommendations are issued, the investigator-in-charge said.

Bakken crude within rail car safety design standards, AFPM study says

May 15, 2014

Bakken crude oil is well within the safety standards for current rail car designs, an American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers report concluded. The crude is comparable to other light grades and does not pose risks that are significantly different than other crudes or flammable liquids authorized for rail transport, it added.

US DOT issues Bakken crude rail transport emergency order

May 8, 2014

The US Department of Transportation (DOT) has issued an emergency order requiring all railroads operating trains containing large amounts of Bakken crude oil to notify State Emergency Response Commissions (SERC) about the operation of these trains through their states.

NTSB begins investigation of Virginia crude train derailment

May 2, 2014

The National Transportation Safety Board took charge of the investigation into the Apr. 30 derailment of a train carrying crude oil in Lynchburg, Va., but it will be months before conclusions are reached and recommendations are issued, the investigator-in-charge said.

Continental reports management changes

May 1, 2014

Continental Resources Inc., Oklahoma City, has named Gary E. Gould as senior vice-president, operations and resource development. He succeeds Richard E. Muncrief, who resigned to take the position of president and chief executive officer at Tulsa independent WPX Energy Inc.

Train carrying crude derails, catches fire in Virginia

Apr 30, 2014

A train carrying crude oil derailed Apr. 30 in Lynchburg, Va., setting 3 cars on fire, CSX Transportation announced. The fire was quickly extinguished and no injuries were reported, although some businesses and residents nearby were evacuated, it said.

PwC: US M&A activity reaches highest 1Q volume in more than a decade

Apr 30, 2014

The US oil and gas industry recorded its highest volume of first quarter mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in more than a decade, PwC US Energy Practice said in an Apr. 30 report on transactions with value greater than $50 million. The movement was a result of rising upstream activities and increased interest from foreign entities.

Whiting reshuffles management following key retirement

Apr 30, 2014

Denver independent Whiting Petroleum Corp. reported that James T. Brown, president and chief operating officer since 2011, will retire. James J. Volker, chairman and chief executive officer, will assume the additional position of president.

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