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

MARKET WATCH: Crude oil prices decline with continued concerns of Europe's economy

Nov 15, 2011

Crude oil prices declined Nov. 14, ending a two-session rally in which crude failed to break the $100/bbl barrier or to hang onto intraday highs above $99/bbl on the New York market.

MARKET WATCH: Renewed hope for Euro-zone hikes oil prices

Nov 11, 2011

Oil prices rose Nov. 10 with crude temporarily climbing above $98/bbl in the New York market following a better-than-expected US weekly job report and encouraging political developments within the Euro-zone.

Oil promise seen in multiple Three Forks benches

Nov 3, 2011

As many as four dolomite benches in the Three Forks formation that underlies the Bakken in the Williston basin may have oil potential, said Continental Resources Inc., Enid, Okla.

Nebraska governor calls special legislative session on pipelines

Oct 25, 2011

Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman (R) said he would call the state’s unicameral legislature into special session starting Nov. 1 to determine if siting legislation can be crafted for pipeline routing across the state.

Statoil to enter Bakken play by acquiring Brigham Exploration

Oct 17, 2011

Norway’s Statoil ASA reported it will acquire Austin-based independent Brigham Exploration Co. for $4.4 billion in a merger agreement. The deal marks Statoil’s entry into the Bakken and Three Forks unconventional oil plays in the Williston basin in North Dakota and Montana.

WEA cites much fewer Rockies federal lease sales since 2008

Sep 27, 2011

Federal oil and gas leasing in the Rocky Mountains dropped significantly from fiscal 2008 during fiscal 2011, the Western Energy Alliance reported.

Montana: Vaalco, Magellan eye deeper zones at Poplar

Sep 9, 2011

Vaalco Energy (USA) Inc., Houston, will drill three wells to the Bakken and deeper formations in the East Poplar and Northwest Poplar units in Roosevelt County, Mont., under an agreement with a subsidiary of Magellan Petroleum Corp., Portland, Me.

Varied plays alter US Lower 48 exploratory landscape

Aug 18, 2011

Oil and wet gas plays of all types are revitalizing basins, reducing unemployment, stressing demand for rigs and other services, and reversing production declines in the US onshore Lower 48, speakers said Wednesday at a session leading up to the Summer NAPE exposition in Houston.

Australia: Georgina basin shale wildcat spuds

Aug 3, 2011

PetroFrontier Corp., Calgary, has spudded Baldwin-2, its first well in the southern Georgina basin of Australia’s Northern Territory to test the Basal Arthur Creek hot shale and other targets.

California's Kreyenhagen elevated to primary target

Jul 27, 2011

HOUSTON, July 27 -- Zodiac Exploration Inc., Calgary, has upgraded the Eocene Kreyenhagen formation to a primary objective based on further analysis of engineering and geological data from its 4-9 vertical test well in Kings County, Calif.

North Dakota: New entrants eye Bakken, Three Forks

Jul 27, 2011

Mountainview Energy Ltd., Cut Bank, Mont., signed a binding letter of intent to acquire a 20% interest in 67,000 gross acres, 13,400 net acres, in the Medicine Lake prospect in Divide County, ND, and Richland, Roosevelt, and Sheridan counties, Mont.

Tesoro to move Bakken crude oil via rail

Jul 15, 2011

Tesoro Corp. plans to transport crude oil via a dedicated unit train from the Bakken shale formation in North Dakota to its 120,000-b/cd refinery in Anacortes, Wash.

Study projects $205.2 billion in midstream gas outlays by 2035

Jun 28, 2011

An average $8.2 billion/year will have to be spent by 2035 for the US and Canada to accommodate new natural gas supplies, particularly from prolific shale plays, and meet growing demand, a study commissioned by the INGAA Foundation concluded.

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.

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.

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