North Dakota's energy jackpot just jumped
The USGS has hiked its oil and natural gas reserve estimates for the region, and some experts say the bonanza could be even bigger.
Scientists estimate that the Bakken formation and the Three Forks formation in North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana contain an estimated mean of 7.4 billion barrels of "undiscovered, technically recoverable oil," about 6.7 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 0.53 billion barrels of natural gas liquids.
Some experts, such as petroleum geologist John Harju, associate director for research with the Energy and Environmental Research Center at the University of North Dakota, say the USGS estimates, which increased thanks to technology improvements, may be conservative. This is the first USGS survey to include both the Bakken and Three Forks formations.
"Like any of these USGS estimates, think of them as a mile marker that's well behind you in the rearview mirror," Harju told the Grand Forks Herald.
This discovery comes as President Barack Obama has been pushing the U.S. to lessen its dependence on foreign oil, efforts that his critics say don't go far enough, pointing to his opposition to expanding drilling on federal lands. Last year, Obama rejected a proposal to build the Keystone Pipeline, which would transport oil from Canada to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast, arguing that a deadline set by congressional Republicans didn't give him enough time to review it. The new USGS estimates may further embolden Keystone's backers.
Some cities in North Dakota, which ranks second to Texas in U.S. oil production, are already feeling the strain of the state's economic boom. As Bloomberg recently noted, Willliston is providing services to 38,000, more than double its official Census population of 16,000. Authorities there are helping people drawn to the area in search of work who are living in temporary camps, hotels and, in some cases, vehicles.
Anyone thinking of making the move to North Dakota should pack plenty of warm clothes. Winter temperatures average about 12 degrees Fahrenheit.
Follow Jonathan Berr on Twitter @jdberr.
"we" do not own the oil. the oil companies do. and any cash paid to the government for that same oil, gets lost in the government's massive spending waste.
it's great for north dakota to have the oil for their own jobs and state economy. but don't spin this as more "usa energy independence" when we all will continue to be raped by the same oil companies
And then one day Jed was shooting at some food....
and up from the ground came a bubblin' crude....
oil that is......
Things to think about: Much of this "bonanza" will be shipped to over seas markets, mainly China(energy independence anyone?), and, the U.S. alone uses 20 million barrels of oil a day. Math quiz....how long before 7.6 billion barrels are used up?
It feels great to have access to some oil/NG/etc., and not be held hostage by OPEC and others who want to manipulate our foreign policy because we need their oil.... although my question is: Will such access lower prices at the pumps here at home?
I don't think it would.
Does such access lower the possibility of us going to war over oil in the future? I hope so.
My answer to the math question: 370 days.
I lived in ND for 28 years. It is a great place to be from. the work ethics of the locals are the finest anywhere.
I am proud to be from there. Great news for those still in the state.
however, until you live through one of those harsh winters, you do not know the meaning of cold. 40 below with a 50 MPH wind will give you a lesson never to be forgotten....
I recall one winter season the temperature did not get above freezing for over 100 days/nights IN A ROW with lows in the mid MINUS 60 degree area. on those coldest nights (even days) you can toss a glass of water into the air and watch the SNOW FALL. water never hits the ground.
keep on keepin on my brothers/sisters
JusDav (currently 1000 miles south...hehe)
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Reports say the generous benefactor behind the huge gratuities is a former PayPal executive.
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