Updated Assessment of Bakken and Three Forks Formation

Posted: May 5, 2013

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) completed an assessment of oil and gas resources in the Devonian and Mississippian Bakken Formation and the Devonian Three Forks Formation.
Source:  US Geological Survey

Source: US Geological Survey

The Bakken and Three Forks formations found in North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana are estimated by the USGS to hold  technically recoverable volumes  of 7.38 billion barrels of oil, 6.7 trillion cubic feet of associated/dissolved natural gas, and 0.53 billion barrels of natural gas liquids, it was announced last month.  The 2008 estimate for the Bakken  is unchanged from the 3.65 billion barrels.  With over 4,000 wells drilled in the two formations since 2008, 450 million barrels of crude have been produced, thus warranting the inclusion of the two formations in the updated assessment. 

Data from the North Dakota Geological Survey, the North Dakota Industrial Commission, the Montana Board of Oil and Gas, and various industry groups in the region provided new information for the updated assessment.   Six continuous assessment units and two conventional assessment units were defined in the Bakken and Three Forks formations, making up the Bakken Total Petroleum System.  The National Assessment of Oil and Gas Fact Sheet can be found on the USGS website.