I first noticed this story on NRO’s The Corner. If true, the United States will soon level the petroleum playing field and silence those in the Middle East who are sick and tired of us “stealing” their oil. Perhaps we will finally break the energy dependence that has infected our foreign policy and impeded our economic growth.
From Next Energy News:
America is sitting on top of a super massive 200 billion barrel Oil Field that could potentially make America Energy Independent and until now has largely gone unnoticed. Thanks to new technology the Bakken Formation in North Dakota could boost America’s Oil reserves by an incredible 10 times, giving western economies the trump card against OPEC’s short squeeze on oil supply and making Iranian and Venezuelan threats of disrupted supply irrelevant.
With new horizontal drilling technology it is believed that from 175 to 500 billion barrels of recoverable oil are held in this 200,000 square mile reserve that was initially discovered in 1951. The USGS did an initial study back in 1999 that estimated 400 billion recoverable barrels were present but with prices bottoming out at $10 a barrel back then the report was dismissed because of the higher cost of horizontal drilling techniques that would be needed, estimated at $20-$40 a barrel.
It was not until 2007, when EOG Resources of Texas started a frenzy when they drilled a single well in Parshal N.D. that is expected to yield 700,000 barrels of oil that real excitement and money started to flow in North Dakota. Marathon Oil is investing $1.5 billion and drilling 300 new wells in what is expected to be one of the greatest booms in Oil discovery since Oil was discovered in Saudi Arabia in 1938.
We should know the results soon as the USGS is due to release its report. I have looked in the foreign newspapers to see if anyone was talking about it. The only report I’ve seen is in a Ukranian outlet. And since Russia has made repeated threats of reducing natural gas supply through their pipeline, I imagine they would love to see a western counterbalance to the oil thugs in the Middle East, Russia, Venezuela and Iran.
UPDATE: The newly released USGS report puts the estimate of recoverable oil at up to 4.3 billion barrels or approximately one-hundred times less than this optimistic article estimated.