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The Big Picture

March 12, 2013

If you’re painting by numbers, the Bakken shale presents an impressive portrait.

Geographic size of Bakken Shale: 25,000 square miles in North Dakota, Montana, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

2011 ranking among U.S. oil fields: 14th (and rising).

Proven reserves: Between 19-24 billion barrels using most recent technology (that only recovers a maximum of 15 percent of reserves). Experts predict rapid advances in recovery technology, however. Above the Bakken lies the Tyler formation, with one billion barrels of recoverable oil; underneath the Bakken lies the Three Forks formation, which may contain two billion barrels of recoverable oil.


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