ShaleEnergy Series: Bakken oil train rolls on at full steam for Three Forks ///

Horizontal drilling in the Bakken shale formation of the Williston basin has been going on since 2000, but since 2009 the play has seen an unprecedented surge in drilling activity. The current drive was launched in part by a US Geological Survey (USGS) petroleum resource assessment in 2008 that named the Bakken formation the country’s largest “continuous” oil accumulation, and has been spurred on by strong oil prices against the backdrop of a stagnant gas market. The drilling bonanza, now targeting both the Bakken and the underlying Three Forks formation, has caused production to exceed the region’s takeaway capacity, forcing oil companies to use rail transport to carry the oil to market.

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