The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has completed an assessment of the undiscovered oil and associated gas resources of the Upper Devonian to Lower Mississippian Bakken Formation in the U.S. portion of the Williston Basin of Montana and North Dakota and within the Williston Basin Province. The assessment is based on geologic elements of a total petroleum system (TPS), which include (1) source-rock distribution, thickness, organic richness, maturation, petroleum generation, and migration; (2) reservoir-rock type (conventional or continuous), distribution, and quality; and (3) character of traps and time of formation with respect to petroleum generation and migration. Framework studies in stratigraphy and structural geology and modeling of petroleum geochemistry, combined with historical exploration and production analyses, were used to estimate the undiscovered, technically recoverable oil resource of the Bakken Formation. Using this framework, the USGS defined a Bakken-Lodgepole TPS and seven assessment units (AU) within the system. For the Bakken Formation, the undiscovered oil and associated gas resources were quantitatively estimated for six of these AUs.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Assessment of Undiscovered Technically Recoverable Oil and Gas Resources of the Bakken Formation, Williston Basin, Montana and North Dakota, 2008