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Oil Pad near Beicegal and French Creeks, between the North and Elkhorn Units of Theodore Roosevelt National Park.The Little Missouri River flows through all three units Theodore Roosevelt National Park. (Image: National Park Conservation Association via Flickr)

Hoeven requests updated oil & gas reserve estimates for Williston Basin

U.S. Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND) has requested that the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) complete an updated study assessing the amount of recoverable oil and gas reserves locked away in the Williston Basin.

As reported by the Forum News Service (FNS), Hoeven made the request to Dr. Suzette Kimball, who was nominated to become the director of the USGS. She said that if confirmed, she would work with Hoeven to secure an update.

Hoeven said, “USGS released its last estimate for the Bakken and Three Forks in 2013. That assessment more than doubled the previous estimate and has been tremendously helpful in attracting infrastructure investment along with energy development.”

The April 2013 report conducted by the USGS stated that the amount of technically recoverable oil was an estimated 7.4 billion barrels, more than double the previous recoverable reserve estimates for the Williston Basin. The report also estimated that there is 6.7 trillion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas.

Although North Dakota production decreased slightly from the steady 1.2 million barrels per day sustained over the summer months, there remain an estimated 1,000 wells that have been drilled but uncompleted. With improved drilling and hydraulic fracturing techniques being employed in the field, operators are witnessing increasingly higher rates of return. As technology continues to advance, the amount of recoverable oil in the Bakken formation could continue to increase.

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