Monday, March 31, 2008

200 billion barrel oil field in ... North Dakota?

Frank J. at IMAO posted this news item, and a quick Google search turned up a lot of information about it. Nutshell: there's enough crude oil in the Bakken Formation in North Dakota to tell the Saudis and Hugo Chavez to fuck off. The formation is estimated at anywhere from 100 to 400 billion barrels of oil.
America is sitting on top of a super massive 200 billion barrel Oil Field that could potentially make America Energy Independent and until now has largely gone unnoticed. Thanks to new technology the Bakken Formation in North Dakota could boost America’s Oil reserves by an incredible 10 times, giving western economies the trump card against OPEC’s short squeeze on oil supply and making Iranian and Venezuelan threats of disrupted supply irrelevant.
We've apparently known of this oil for a long time, but back when oil was $10-$20 per barrel, the horizontal drilling required to get at it wasn't worth the cost. Now with oil hovering around $100 per barrel, that's all changed:
High oil prices and new technology make it worth the effort. Computer analysis and remote sensing systems, plus smart drills that can probe horizontally or snake left and right, vastly improve the odds of locating new pools and putting them into production. And though oil is unlikely to remain priced at current stratospheric levels, prices won’t drop to much lower levels, which happened several times since the 1970s, and cause new exploration to dry up. Even if prices fell by half, many barrels of oil could still be produced -- profitably -- from the region.
The Kiplinger article goes on to note that Marathon Oil recently acquired 200,000 acres there and will drill some 300 wells over the next five years. Yeah, yeah...we still have to boost our refining capacity, but I'm sure that will ramp up once Bakken oil starts flowing in earnest.



Stanhope said...

Whew, now I can still drive my 13.9 MPG SUV without worry of an empty wallet, well, in a few years. It's funny because we were in a crash (totally not my fault) and we have this Chevy HHR LS as a rental. It's like 30 MPG but not meant for normal size people (maybe midgets, but that’s squeezing it). Now that we have no need for low guzzling vehicles, we can ship these pieces of shit to Europe, maybe the Clinton family can tour Bosnia in one, in peace.

Oh, I have a new blog too, it's called Tech Bone (short for I have a bone to pick with technology) and I highlight all the problems and quirks I have found with tech, check it out at

Stanhope said...

Eric, just wanted to point this out too you. Dobbs describes blakcs as "cotton pickers" and CNN scrubs it from the transcript.

Eric said...

I had an HHR for a rental on a business trip a few weeks back, and it was OK, but the roof line where it meets the windshield was too low...I found I had to stop at traffic lights well back from the line so I could see the light. Either that or lean my head way down.

Saw something about the Dobbs thing on Hot Air last night.