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

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.

DOE report identifies deficiencies in crude oil analysis techniques

Mar 25, 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.

BHI: US rig count down in 14th straight week, loses 67 units

Mar 13, 2015

The US drilling rig count plunged 67 units—64 on land and 56 targeting oil—to settle at 1,125 rigs working during the week ended Mar. 13, according to data from Baker Hughes Inc.

EIA: Eagle Ford, Bakken oil production to fall in April

Mar 10, 2015

US shale oil production is expected to increase by a mere 1,000 b/d from March to April, according to the Energy Information Administration’s Drilling Productivity Report (DPR), signifying a slowdown in growth caused by reduced company budgets and a shrinking rig count.

Pennsylvania governor asks Obama for stronger crude-by-rail rules

Mar 2, 2015

Noting that 60-70 trains/week carry Bakken crude oil across Pennsylvania to the Philadelphia area or other East Coast refineries, Gov. Tom Wolf (D) asked US President Barack Obama for stronger federal regulations to prevent derailments and improve safety.

Technique connects known, unknown EURs, manages expectations

Mar 2, 2015

Reserves reports often rely on volumetric probabilistic EUR assessments while remaining vague or silent on how these estimates relate to what is actually known or proven.

BHI: US rig count continues to tumble, falls 43 units to 1,267

Feb 27, 2015

The US drilling rig count declined 43 units—down from losses of 48 last week and 98 the previous week—to settle at 1,267 rigs working during the week ended Feb. 27, according to data from Baker Hughes Inc.

Petroleum detected in fish tested after Yellowstone River pipeline spill

Feb 26, 2015

Detectable levels of petroleum were found in tests of fish pulled from the Yellowstone River downstream from a broken petroleum pipeline near Glendive. Mont., and the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks advised fishermen to use caution when deciding whether to eat fish from the oil spill area.

County decision in Washington state stalls Shell’s Bakken rail plans

Feb 24, 2015

A Skagit County Hearing Examiner in Mount Vernon, Wash., halted Royal Dutch Shell PLC’s plans to move Bakken crude oil by rail to the company’s Anacortes refinery in northwest Washington pending an environmental and public health risk review, which could take a year or more.

Derailed West Virginia oil train carried Bakken crude

Feb 23, 2015

A large-scale cleanup and investigation have launched following the Feb. 16 derailment of a CSX crude oil train near Mount Carbon, W.Va.

EOG Resources’ budget down 40% to $4.9-5.1 billion

Feb 20, 2015

EOG Resources Inc., Houston, plans a capital budget of $4.9-5.1 billion in 2015 including production facilities and midstream expenditures, representing a 40% reduction compared with last year’s budget.

BHI’s rig count reaches 5-year low; forecast projects more losses

Feb 20, 2015

The US drilling rig count fell 48 units—markedly fewer compared with declines in recent weeks—to settle at 1,310 rigs working during the week ended Feb. 20, Baker Hughes Inc. reported.

Marathon revises down budget by 20%

Feb 19, 2015

Marathon Oil Corp., Houston, has reduced its capital, investment, and exploration budget for 2015 by another 20% to $3.5 billion.

Derailed West Virginia oil train carried Bakken crude

Feb 17, 2015

A large-scale cleanup and investigation have launched following the Feb. 16 derailment of a CSX crude oil train near Mount Carbon, W.Va.

North Dakota December oil production topped 1.2 million b/d

Feb 17, 2015

Preliminary oil and gas production figures for December 2014 show 1.16 million b/d in oil production from the Bakken and Three Forks formations and 63,992 b/d from legacy conventional pools, the North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources reported.

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