How much recoverable oil does the Bakken Formation have? The most recent estimate of proved reserves is just under 6 billion barrels for the entire Williston Basin, which includes the Bakken, and another 3.5 billion to 4.1 billion barrels of “undiscovered and technically recoverable” oil. Harold Hamm, founder and CEO of Continental Resources, once said he believed there were 24 billion barrels of oil in place in the basin.
That size of this resource has been lost during the discussion of whether the price of oil will shut down fracking in the region. Eventually, as global demand for crude continues at or near historical highs, the oil from the region will be produced and shipped to refineries. And with the price of oil moving back up, that could happen sooner and not later.
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