NORTH DAKOTA (KXNET) — Many of us know the Bakken has a lot of oil underneath it, especially compared to other states, and we’ll show you how it got there.

We’re going to first take you back about 400 million years ago to the Devonian Era. During this time, North Dakota was covered by shallow seas on an irregular basis.

There were small animals, including fish, and lots of early plant life, including an abundance of ferns in our area.

North Dakota saw a lot of water retreating and receding during this time, and each time that happened, sediment and sand covered more organic material.

Fast forward to now, that organic material turned to oil.

“As you can see that that inland sea is migrating across North Dakota, so sediments are running off those organisms that I talked about earlier, dine, and they’re getting stacked and covered with sediments. So it’s building up over time,” said Energy Industry Expert at the Office of Fossil Energy, Evan Frye.

In 2021, the Department of Energy found that North Dakota was the third top crude oil-producing state in the country, behind New Mexico and Texas.

There still remains a sizeable amount of oil underneath our state, and energy experts say that will be vital for our country’s future.