USGS Releases New Estimate for Recoverable Oil & Gas - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

USGS Releases New Estimate for Recoverable Oil & Gas

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It's big news for North Dakota.

A new survey reveals the amount of recoverable oil and gas in the Bakken and Three Forks formations.

The numbers more than double estimated releases in 2008.

The increases are expected to extend the play by years and deliver added confidence to investors.

The latest survey by the USGS shows there are at least 7.4 billion and potentially over 11-billion barrels of recoverable oil in the Bakken and Three Forks formations. That's up from 3.65 billion in 2008.

"Industry is going to come back and say that's conservative, that's fine, but I think it sets a baseline where were going from 3.6 to on that top end number 11.4 billion barrels so it's not just the amount of energy and so forth it's the length of time that play is gonna be there," says Senator John Hoeven.

The jump is due primarily to the Three Forks, which wasn't included in the initial survey.

Hoeven says the news gives added confidence to investors and to state officials.

"We're gonna continue to see job growth, we're gonna continue to see population growth. Again the key here is this is going to stimulate more private investment for that needed infrastructure for quality of life," says Hoeven.

Hoeven called for the new survey in 2011.

He says the announcement reinforces the fact that the Bakken is a long-term play that will continue to impact not only the state but the nation.

"We do not need to import any oil from the Middle East. This is about energy, this is about jobs, this is about national security,"

Hoeven says the report is a huge selling point to get the Keystone pipeline project approved. He says with Canada and some help from Mexico the US could easily be energy independent within five to seven years.

Today's report also says there are 0.7 trillion cubic feet of recoverable gas. That's more than three times the initial estimate in 2008.

The new assessment is part of a nationwide project to find out how much oil and gas are recoverable in the United States.

The US Department of the Interior says foreign oil imports are at there lowest point since 1988.

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