The Bakken Oil Reserve is reported to be 10X the reserves of the Alaska North Slope. The Bakken is being developed now. That post supposedly by a Bill Phillips seems to have some inaccurate information in it. The post is now being examined by Snopes as to the validity of several of the facts presented. The Bakken can be developed without many of the enviornmental hazards associated with drilling off the coast of California. There presently is 64,000 acres under lease by oil companies to be developed. They could be doing this but why, when oil can be bought from other countries. When the price gets high enough, this will be the impetus for more exploration and drilling. Why all the noise now about drilling off the coast of California and Washington, when there is oil on land?
FYI, Original Oil In Place (OOIP) is not the same as reserves. Reserves are the volume of economically recoverable oil that is a fraction of OOIP. The Ultimate Recovery Factor (URF)is the % of OOIP that tells you what the reserves are. Typical worldwide URF for conventional reservoirs is ~35%. For unconventional reservoirs like the Bakken, URF may be more like ~5% to 10%. And due to the low permeability of the Bakken, recovery rates are low. One saving grace is that the oil is low viscosity, light oil.
Yes, money is being made in the Bakken. And yes, people and companies who stuck with the play are getting what they deserve for their foresight. But the Bakken production will have only a little impact on U.S. oil economic picture and need for oil.
I am well aware of that. The discovery, even though it was 50 years ago did not make an impact because it was cheaper to do verticle drilling than horizontal drilling which the Bakken requires. The price of crude now makes it an important U.S. oil reserve. Indications are that a millionaire is being made every day in North Dakota.