Bakken Formation: Energy Production the No. 1 Story in North Dakota

By December 28, 2008Energy

There tends to be a quick drop-off in significance in the North Dakota AP’s annual list of the state’s 10 major news stories. But there’s no doubt developments involving the Bakken Formation were not just the No. 1 story in North Dakota, but big news nationally and internationally, as well.

1. Oil: North Dakota moves into 5th place among the states in oil production as prices soar, but the year ends in uncertainty after the prices plummet. In a long awaited study, the government estimates up to 4.3 billion barrels of oil can be recovered from the Bakken shale formation in North Dakota and Montana, using current technology.

The Bakken Formation is a shale structure accessible through horizontal drilling and hydrofracking, technology made possible through the profits of oil companies.

AP reported on the effects of the price drop on the Bakken Formation earlier this month, “Oil prices temper boom in ND oil patch“:

Drilling in North Dakota’s oil patch is expected to be slashed by at least a third next year, industry officials say, citing slipping crude prices and a slumping U.S. economy.

But no hint of an ’80s-type bust, observers say.

And Harold Hamm of Continental Resources is upbeat about his company’s prospects, in part because of its investment in the Bakken Formation. (From The Enid, OK, News.)

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