From Bismarck, Words of Praise and Potential for Fossil Fuels

Speaking at the Great Plains Energy Expo and Showcase in Bismarck, N.D., on Monday, Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar:

I don’t want you to be scared, those of you here who are supportive of coal and oil and natural gas…The fact remains that oil, gas and coal are a very important part of our energy portfolio and will remain a part of the energy portfolio in the future.

That’s from The Bismarck Tribune’s story, “Salazar says N.D. coal is part of U.S. energy future.” The quote doesn’t appear in the Secretary’s prepared text.

The keynote speaker at the expo sponsored by Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) was Harold Hamm, chairman and CEO of Continental Resources, an independent oil company heavily invested in North Dakota. From AP:

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Billionaire Enid oilman Harold Hamm said Monday North Dakota’s oil reserves could be double the federal government’s estimates….Hamm said U.S. Geological Survey’s estimate of 4.2 billion barrels of oil in the Bakken shale formation could be “100 percent off.”

“I think we’re going to be twice that,” said Hamm, chairman and chief executive officer of Continental Resources, an independent oil and gas company based in Enid. His company was one of the first to tap the Bakken formation in North Dakota’s oil patch 20 years ago. Hamm also said the underlying Three Forks-Sanish formation could hold as much oil as the Bakken.

The Bakken Formation is a shale formation, the crude oil of which has become available through advances in seismic exploration, directional drilling and hydrofracturing. Its development has pushed North Dakota into a new status as the fourth most productive oil state in the country, surpassing Louisiana.

See also Forbes, “Billionaire Harold Hamm’s New Play“: “Oklahoma billionaire Harold Hamm is rushing back into the North Dakota Bakken with an ambitious new drilling program after pulling back from the oil shale just a year ago.”

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