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A review of the North Dakota Petroleum Boom

The Bakken can be described as structure of shale form natural stone covering approximately 200,000 square miles of North Dakota, Montana and Saskatchewan. It is typically the biggest recognized source of light sweet crude oil in North America.



Oil was discovered here in 1951, however as a result of technical limitations, it has only been till just recently that virtually any significant amount of petroleum has been recovered.







Although the whole level of oil and gas contained in the Bakken shale could be hundreds of billion barrels, the oil is caught in the shale itself, and it's subsequently challenging to acquire.



In 2008, the USGS distributed a written report which approximated the overall technically recoverable oil in the Bakken at 3 to 4.3 billion barrels. This is obviously lots of petroleum, yet a lot less than what is probably contained in the shale structure alone.



The latest enhancements in petroleum extraction engineering have produced remarkable boosts in the quantity of oil emerging from the Bakken. The key technology, hydraulic fracturing or "fracking," has gotten the most significant impact.



At the conclusion of 2010, the pace of oil production from the shale formation had enhanced to 458,000 barrels per day, which put a severe strain on the regional infrastructure's capacity to actually transport the petroleum from the area.



All these newly released boosts in processing have brought several specialists to conclude the very first USGS estimation of 3 - 4.3 billion barrels as simply too small, and they may be right. Newer assessments have come up with figures as much as Twenty four billion barrels of actually recoverable petroleum.



Needless to say, the important thing to finding out the level of total recoverable petroleum is in deciding precisely what percent is technologically recoverable. Estimates of this have ranged from 1% to 50%, clearly quite a broad range.



As with every issue concerning considerable sums of capital, disputes of interest plays a role in such evaluations. The reports released by the USGS and the state of North Dakota (theoretically much more objective resources) in 2008 would suggest the smaller range of percentage assessments are much more credible.



Certainly, the total amount of technically recoverable oil depends in large part on technological innovation, and recent improvements in horizontal drilling and fracturing have been the cause of huge boosts in production.



In 2011, a senior manager at Continental Resources, which is one of the main players working in the Bakken area, suggested that it could be among the greatest discoveries of the last 30-40 years. He based this announcement on a total recovery of 24 billion barrels, and that is certainly much more than the USGS and North Dakota reports.



In addition to this manager's obvious individual interest in producing these kinds of claims, it is worthy of observing that he is immediately involved in production, and is very likely intimately familiar with the real-world implementation of the technology involved. For instance, his company is rolling out a technology that allows the drilling rigs themselves to transport hundreds of yards under their own energy, increasing the rate of well exploration.



Though it still remains to be seen what kind of longevity this structure has, and what the absolute recoverable oil will be, there's no question it is the most dynamic breakthrough right now under production in North America.



The Bakken is also responsible for incredible job development, a not-insignificant factor in today's challenging economic climate. The truth is, North Dakota's joblessness rate is currently the smallest in the u . s ., and demand for workers of all types displays no indications of letting up any time soon.



For more information, click here for a useful resource about the North Dakota oil production, and in what ways it is going to impact your daily life.



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