Saturday, March 29, 2008

Bakken Oil Reserve

I did some poking around for more information on the huge oil reserve I noted here. There is information at Wikipedia and also from this promoter of oil futures as investments. From these reports I learned the reserve is estimated to be as much as 10 times the size of Alaska's North Slope Reserve.

However, the real issue is how much oil can be recovered from the Bakken reserve. Due to the geology of the rock the oil is in, recovery estimates range down to as low as 1 percent. A lot of oil, but not enough to end imports.

I'll be waiting for "environmentalists" to start painting North Dakota as a pristine wilderness, more fragile than even the Alaskan Wildlife Refuge. That will be one really tough sell, eh.

4 comments:

Dad29 said...

Well,...if you've BEEN through North Dakota, it is damn NEAR 'pristine.'

What...10 people/square mile or so?

Anonymous said...

The reference on wiki (#7) states that as little as 3% is the end of the estimate and not 1% which means that's at least 12.4 billion barrels which is still pretty substantial.

Here's a link to a more in depth report on Bakken Oil that mentions horizontal drilling from 2006.

It shows that the smaller northernmost part of the supply which is supposed to be shallower and theoretically easier to get to is on the Canadian side.

This might mean that the only 3% recoverable figure applies to North Dakota and not Canada's situation.

This would still obviously help the US since Canada is the 1# supplier of our oil followed by Mexico and then the Middle East:

http://www.willistonnd.com/usrimages/Bakken.pdf

Given that contract oil rigs are going for as much as $600,000 a day, I think someone will be able to perfect the drilling techniques to recover at least 50% of this 271-500 billion barrels of oil supply.

Headless Blogger said...

anon - You're right, and that's good news. You should correct the entry at Wiki.

I'll split the difference with you, 26.5% of 385.5 billion barrels, or a cool 100 billion barrels.

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