In an earlier post, an oil and gas expert was asked "what the next Bakken would be." He did not have a good answer, although sugggesting the Three Forks would have been my answer also.
However, a reader suggests that the Green River Formation is likely to be the next Bakken. At wiki:
The Green River Formation contains the largest oil shale deposits in the world. It has been estimated that the oil shale reserves could be equal up to 3 trillion barrels of shale oil, up to half of which may be recoverable by shale oil extraction technologies ("cooking" kerogen).
However, the above quoted estimate of 'recoverable' oil is in doubt, and challenged, by many renowned geologists because the technology for converting rock into an oil from the Green River shale deposit has not been developed, and it has never been profitably implemented at any significant scale.The Green River Formation is found in three separate basins around the Uinta Mountains of northeastern Utah:
- an area in northwestern Colorado east of the Uintas
- a larger area in the southwest corner of Wyoming just north of the Uintas known as Lake Gosiute
- the largest area, in northeastern Utah and western Colorado south of the Uintas, known as Lake Uinta
A recent report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office estimated that if half of the oil bound up in the rock of the Green River Formation could be recovered it would be "equal to the entire world's proven oil reserves."
Both the GAO and private industry estimate the amount of oil recoverable to be 3 trillion barrels.It's a very, very long article, for an internet article with lots of information. My understanding is that much of the Green River Formation is under land controlled by the federal government (BLM):
An auditor told Congress last week that the Green River Formation in Wyoming, Utah, and Colorado contains about as much oil as the "entire world's proven reserves," making it the "world's largest deposits of oil shale."A couple of points.
The formation is largely — about 75 percent — on federal Bureau of Land Management lands in the states, making it possible for the government to extract funding from the shale formation almost as well as the companies that may extract the oil.
First, although the shale oil may be BLM-constrained, it is there if "push comes to shove."
Second, it is nice to see the "three trillion original oil in place." It gives "credibility" to reports that the Bakken could be a trillion-bbl-OOIP-reservoir.
I did have the Uinta Basin linked at the sidebar at the right, but not the Green River Formation. I will add the Green River Formation to the "Other Formations" at the sidebar.
Just as the Bakken Formation is found in the Williston Basin, the Green Formation is found in the Uinta Basin (as well as two other basins in the Wyoming, Colorado, Utah area).