Saturday, April 12, 2008

bakken-shale-discussion...WOW Bakken Shale Largest Find Of Oil Ever in Lower 48 States

3.65 Billion BBLs, That's How Much

The USGS has estimated mean recoverable reserves of 3.65 billion bbls, and the estimate does not cover the Canadian portion of the Bakken. The assessment was based on geological elements that include: "(1) source rock distribution, thickness, organic richness, maturation petroleum generation, and migration; (2) reservoir rock type (conventional or continuous), distribution and quality; and (3) character of types and time of formation with respect to petroleum generation and migration. Detailed framework studies in stratigraphy and structural and the modeling of petroleum geochemistry, combined with historical exploration and production analyses" were also used.

The most important elements used in their geologic model were "(1) the geographic extent of the Bakken Formation oil generation window; (2) the occurrence and distribution of vertical and horizontal fractures; and (3) the matrix porosity within the middle sandstone member." Thus, it appears that the area where the Bakken has generated oil was divided into five separate assessment areas based on what appears to be somewhat comparable geologic characteristics of mainly the middle Bakken member. That consideration appears to be based on the fracturing and porosity present in those areas.

After challenging someone to show where there were more than one billion of recoverables in ND for months and getting no response, I feel pretty foolish for throwing out a 20 billion bbl number last night for the entire Bakken.

From the Dickinson Press:

Mike Armstrong, president of Dickinson-based Armstrong Corp., an oil and gas prospecting firm, said he was excited to hear the news but gave a skeptical reaction to the report. “How about this: Don’t over react,” Armstrong said. “A study is just that, it’s a study. There’s no guarantees.” Armstrong, who’s been in the oil business since 1975, said he thinks the report’s figure is an over-estimate. “I think they’re stretching it – a lot,” Armstrong said.

USGS Press Release

USGS Fact Sheet

USGS Interview (Audio)


Dickinson Press Article

New York Times Article

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