North Dakota is now number 4 in the US for oil production! Passes Oklahoma and Louisiana. Top four: Alaska, Texas, California, North Dakota. Announced October 28, 2009, based on May, 2009, results.***********
Instead of adding yet another page of background information regarding the Bakken, I will simply refer the reader to the wikipedia entry and build on that.
The Bakken formation, wikipedia entry.There are numerous web sources regarding the Bakken. Googling the Bakken is perhaps the fastest way to find relevant information.
The United States Geologic Survey report, dated April 10, 2008.
Conclusion: using current technology and industry practices, the Bakken has 3 to 4.3 billion barrels of recoverable oil.
Note: only the Bakken was surveyed at that time. Since then two more formations, the Three Forks Sanish (TFS) and the Lodgepole have generated interest. Some suggest that the TFS may be more prolific than the Bakken.
The original Leigh Price article (1999) that suggested up to 500 billion barrels of oil in the Bakken formation (obviously only a percent of this would be recoverable).
Particularly good sites:
Bakken shale blog: infrequently posts; but updates excellent
Bakken shale discussion board: very active discussion; tightly controlled
Other sites of interest:
Bakken Shale: hype, perhaps, but links to other sites
This is really, really very good: go to this site, and then click on "Tappin' the Bakken." I doubt this will be here forever, but the Sydney Herald tends to produce this supplement every six months.