4.3 Billion Barrels of Oil is a LOT of Oil

By April 10, 2008Energy

The U.S. Geological Survey’s news release summarizing the potential for recoverable oil in the Bakken Formation.

Reston, VA – North Dakota and Montana have an estimated 3.0 to 4.3 billion barrels of undiscovered, technically recoverable oil in an area known as the Bakken Formation.

A U.S. Geological Survey assessment, released April 10, shows a 25-fold increase in the amount of oil that can be recovered compared to the agency’s 1995 estimate of 151 million barrels of oil.

And this (our emphasis)…

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. A “continuous” oil accumulation means that the oil resource is dispersed throughout a geologic formation rather than existing as discrete, localized occurrences. The next largest “continuous” oil accumulation in the U.S. is in the Austin Chalk of Texas and Louisiana, with an undiscovered estimate of 1.0 billions of barrels of technically recoverable oil.

Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) requested the study.

A podcast from U.S. Geological Survey scientists is available here.

P.S. “The USGS has determined that the Bakken Formation, in North Dakota and Montana, has 25 times more technically recoverable oil than was estimated in the USGS’s 1995 assessment.” Technological advances, made possible by…OIL COMPANY PROFITS. Blast them.

UPDATE (3:26 p.m.) AP story.

UPDATE (4:10 p.m.): A lot, but not as much as some of the more dramatic claims floating around the web in anticipation, notes Glenn Reynolds. More here, and the full report is here.

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