It really is amazing. I think most folks think of the Bakken, if they think about it at all, as just more of the same from the North Dakota oil patch. But it seems I find the Bakken mentioned every day in some article or another.
Here's another example: Rigzone's musings from the oil patch, today.
First, this item:
A key aspect of this glorious new world of abundant petroleum is the growth in natural gas production that has led to very low prices and boosted its use in generating electric power at the expense of coal. While natural gas has been cheaper than coal, the fact that gas creates about half the volume of carbon emissions than coal has spurred it use in power plants subject to increased environmental regulation. The natural gas industry is working feverishly to try to gain a greater foothold in the transportation fuels market with the hope that market will further boost natural gas demand thereby lifting prices. Increased gas demand is seen as the remedy for low natural gas prices. In the meantime, U.S. producers are continuing their shift in shale drilling from dry natural gas basins to those with higher liquids content and crude oil. An unfortunate side benefit of this drilling shift has been large volumes of associated natural gas being produced further adding to the abundance of gas and depressing any recovery in gas prices.And then this:
There are a number of people suggesting the Keystone project will get a green light to move forward. They are assuming President Barack Obama will not support his environmental friends by stopping the importation of more "dirty" oil sands output. Supporters of Keystone have to assume this oil will be used by the Gulf Coast refineries, which means that heavy oil volumes currently imported from Venezuela and Mexico will be cut and replaced with Canadian bitumen. That assumption is due to TransCanada's plans to mix the bitumen with Bakken light crude produced in Montana and North Dakota. Without a change in the federal law restricting the export of U.S. oil production, by blending the two oils, Keystone's volumes cannot be exported. If the refineries utilizing Venezuelan and Mexican heavy oil don't want to change suppliers, then the existing Gulf Coast refining complex will have too much heavy oil to be processed. That means the refining industry will have to revamp facilities to use more heavy and less light oil.