Feds reveal large ‘recoverable’ oil field

| 4/11/2008

Officials with the U.S. Geological Survey have announced that a shale formation in North Dakota, Montana and parts of Canada could produce 25 times more oil than first thought.

USGS officials said Thursday, April 10, that the area known as the Bakken Formation could produce between 3 billion and 4.3 billion barrels of oil. In 1995, USGS officials estimated that the formation held 151 million barrels of recoverable oil.

“The Bakken Formation estimate is larger than all other current USGS oil assessments of the lower 48 states and is the largest ‘continuous’ oil accumulation ever assessed by the USGS,” officials stated in a news release.

Some recovery has occurred since 2000 to the tune of 105 million barrels, officials said.

U.S. Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-ND, issued a statement to encourage recovery.

“It is clear that the Bakken Formation contains a significant amount of oil. The question is how much of that oil is recoverable using today’s technology?” Dorgan stated.

Dorgan pushed for the study to be released to provide an up-to-date estimate on recoverable oil.

The USGS estimates recovery using current technology.

“Technically recoverable oil resources are those producible using currently available technology and industry practices,” USGS officials stated.

With recent oil prices averaging between $100 and $110 per barrel, many people are calling for relief and a reduced dependence on foreign oil.

The staff at OOIDA headquarters in Grain Valley, MO, have been handling questions and suggestions about how to reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil. The majority of people who call the Association are saying “something must be done and done quickly” as fuel prices soar.

Some are calling for increased use of renewable, alternative fuels while others are calling for increased drilling and an expansion of domestic pipelines. Some are calling for a temporary halt to the diversion of oil to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve until prices stabilize, while others suggest that all drivers – including four wheelers – tune up their vehicles and drive smartly and responsibly to cut down on consumption.

– By David Tanner, staff writer