Estimates of oil in Bakken keep getting bigger

Test wells indicate the amount of underground oil in the Bakken area of western North Dakota exceeds 900 billion barrels. Yes, that’s billions, not millions.

The estimated total could keep increasing, as it has the past three years, as companies such as Continental Resources continue exploratory drilling areas such as the Three Forks Formation.

Only a small portion of underground reserves are recoverable. Even so, a total approaching 1 trillion barrels is more than enough to excite officials with oil companies, business developers and the North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources, which is quite busy these days.

Allison Ritter, public information officer for the Department of Mineral Resources is the featured guest this week on The Hegg Bakken Report. She and podcast host Bill Daniels talk about test drilling and reserve estimates, as reported recently in news stories in publications such as the Dickinson Press.

Oil companies generally know how big a surface area oil reserves cover, Ritter says, but they still are figuring out the depth of formations.

In our latest podcast, Ritter and Daniels also discuss international interest in the Bakken and why it would be nice to have more pipeline capacity in North Dakota to transport oil.

It’s an interesting discussion. You can access the podcast here: