It isn’t new news that there is oil and natural gas under the ground in North Dakota. The news is the latest estimate of the U.S. Geological Survey which reports that reservoir of fossil fuel is double the oil and triple the natural gas originally projected. The new find makes the North Dakota oil field the largest ever on the continental US–even larger than the Texas oil fields that made J.R. Ewing famous.
The fossil fuel fields (Bakken and Three Forks) are shale formations and can be harvested via fracking:
The primary source of oil for the Bakken and Three Forks Formations are the Upper and Lower Bakken Shale Members of the Bakken Formation. USGS assessed the Bakken and Three Forks Formations for both continuous and conventional resources. Unlike conventional oil accumulations, continuous oil remains in or near the original source rock, and instead of occurring in discrete accumulations is dispersed heterogeneously over large geographic areas.
Mining companies are already licking their chops to get to the new finds:
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While the new estimate is drawing smaller companies to the game, the larger players like Schlumberger, Halliburton and Continental Resources are pushing forward with ambitious multi-year plans to stake their claim in the industry.
Continental recently announced a five-year plan to triple its production by 2017. The company’s growth is based on success in North Dakota and Montana as well as in parts of Oklahoma.
The dash to drill follows news from the government on how much more oil and natural gas there is to tap.
“These world-class formations contain even more energy resource potential than previously understood, which is important information as we continue to reduce our nation’s dependence on foreign sources of oil,” newly confirmed Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said Tuesday in a statement.
The new U.S. Geological Survey estimates there are 7.4 billion barrels of oil, 6.7 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 0.53 billion barrels of natural gas liquids in the Bakken and Three Forks Formations in the Williston Basin Province of Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota.
The EPA has yet to issue its new regulations regarding fracking, regulations which could “muck up” the whole works. Fracking or hydraulic fracturing, involves injecting a high-pressure mix of water, sand and chemicals deep into rock formations to release trapped oil and gas. The process releases methane gas into the air which the global warming theorists believe helps create a greenhouse effect.
At best global warming is a disputed and unproven theory, what has been totally verified is the oil find has been great for North Dakota:
a state that’s already reaped big benefits from the oil boom and has one of the strongest state economies in the country coupled with an exceptionally low unemployment rate. Tax revenues from natural gas and oil hit $1 billion last year in North Dakota and the state is on track to double that number next year.
Republican Sen. John Hoeven believes numbers from the new USGS survey will draw even more developers to the area.
“This will mean a lot of jobs,” he told FoxNews.com. “Financially we are already very strong, we have no debt, but this will mean a lot more. Stores, restaurants, movie theaters – we’ll have to build and we’ll have to hire workers.”
The competition to court employees is already on at the McDonalds in Dickinson, N.D. where prospective hires are being lured in with $300 signing bonuses, Hoeven said.
Calls to McDonalds Corp. for comment were not immediately returned.
The President keeps calling for an all-of-the-above energy strategy, the coming EPA rules regarding fracking will determine his commitment to the mining of our own resources as part of of that strategy.