Finds Formations Have Greater Resource Potential than Previously Thought
Since the 2008 USGS assessment, more than 4,000 wells have been drilled in the Williston Basin, providing updated subsurface geologic data. Previously, very little data existed on the Three Forks Formation and it was generally thought to be unproductive. However, new drilling resulted in a new understanding of the reservoir and its resource potential.
In addition to oil, these two formations are estimated to contain a mean of 6.7 trillion cubic feet of undiscovered, technically recoverable natural gas and 0.53 billion barrels of undiscovered, technically recoverable natural gas liquids. Gas estimates range from 3.43 (95 percent chance) to 11.25 (5 percent chance) trillion cubic feet of gas and 0.23 (95 percent chance) to 0.95 (5 percent chance) billion barrels of natural gas liquids. This estimate represents a nearly threefold increase in mean natural gas and a nearly threefold increase in mean natural gas liquids resources from the 2008 assessment, due primarily to the inclusion of the Three Forks Formation.
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.
The geological foundation that underpins the assessment was facilitated by data provided by the North Dakota Geological Survey, North Dakota Industrial Commission, Montana Board of Oil and Gas, and multiple industry groups working in this region.
You seem to forget that 24 billion barrels was the old Continental Resources estimate and just how the estimates are done and exactly what each one means....so if you need another explanation again we can go through all of that.
Continental Resources NOW has their Recoverable Reserve estimate of not only 24 Billion barrels but they are at 45 Billion barrels with a resource estimate of 903 Billion barrels.
Oh, how confusing?
To review so you can be spotted twisting the info very easily....
The 2008 USGS estimate was TWENTY FIVE TIMES their own prior estimate.....which now in 2013 looks like it has doubled again.