BISMARCK Sen. John Hoeven today announced that the U.S. Geological Survey has determined that there are approximately 7.4 billion barrels of technically recoverable oil, more than twice the previous estimate in the Williston Basin.
The report also estimates there to be 0.7 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. It's the largest unconventional oil resource the USGS has ever assessed and it includes the Three Forks Formation. The last USGS study, released in April 2008, identified 3.65 billion recoverable barrels of oil in the Bakken formation with far more oil than that in place.
"This is clearly great news for North Dakota and great news for the nation," Hoeven said. "It will further serve to enhance our state's role as an energy powerhouse for the nation. More than two years ago I persuaded former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to initiate a new USGS study of the Williston Basin to stimulate more private-sector investment in infrastructure like housing, hotels, retail stores and other services to meet the needs of a rapidly growing western North Dakota. This new USGS study further confirms and reinforces the fact that the Williston Basin is a sustainable, long-term play warranting strong private-sector investment for decades into the future."