America stands on the cusp of an energy boom, so long as the government doesn’t derail the prosperity train barreling down the tracks out of North Dakota. The mammoth Bakken field, it is proving to be bigger — much bigger — than previously estimated. It’s not yet official, but it will be next year. And it puts the lie to President Obama’s claim of a huge disproportion between America’s share of world oil consumption and American reserves.
Industry experts gathered in Minot, North Dakota this month for the Second Annual Bakken Investor Conference, and Petroleum News was there. The information now available will be incorporated in the US Geological Survey estimate of technically recoverable reserves to be released in 2013, and it will be enough to make OPEC weep. Petroleum News explains:
April 2008 was the last time the USGS reported on the immense play, estimating it held from 3-to 4.3 billion barrels of undiscovered, technically recoverable oil in an area generally known as the Bakken formation. The study estimated mean undiscovered volumes of 3.65 billion barrels of oil, plus 1.85 trillion cubic feet of associated-dissolved natural gas, and 148 million barrels of natural gas liquids. That estimate represented a 25-fold increase in the amount of oil that could be recovered compared to the agency’s 1995 estimate of 151 million barrels of oil. […]
The Bakken reserve estimate of 2008 was larger than all other USGS oil assessments of the lower 48 states and was the largest continuous oil accumulation ever assessed by the USGS.