Wednesday, January 15, 2014

How Big Might The Bakken Be?

I wasn't going to post this story. I didn't care all that much. And I was exhausted.

But, look at the numbers in this article. No, before you do that look at these numbers: the population of Norway is 5 million. The population of North Dakota is 700,000.

Every Norwegian is a millionaire.

Now look at the numbers in this story. Reuters is reporting via Rigzone:
Norway cuts its 2014 oil production forecasts on Wednesday, and warned that investment growth will soon stop, but also sharply raised its undiscovered resource estimate on more Arctic riches.
The world's seventh biggest oil exporter and Western Europe's top gas supplier sees oil production at about 1.46 million barrels a day this year.
Even as investment growth slows, Norway increased its total undiscovered resource estimate to 18.5 billion barrels of oil equivalents (boe) from a previous estimate for 16.3 billion boe.
Okay, did you see those numbers? Norway is producing about 1.5 million bopd. North Dakota: soon to hit the 1 million bopd milestone and estimates are that North Dakota will produce 2 million bopd (barring any geopolitical disruption). Norway is slowing down production because of increased challenges in deep-sea drilling in the Arctic. Sort of makes the Bakken look like a cakewalk, huh?

So, Norway:
  • 1.5 million bopd
  • 5 million Norwegians
  • every Norwegian is a millionaire
  • reserves of 20 billion bbls
  • Norway's "Legacy Fund" invested in equities and property around the world
Compare with North North Dakota:
  • 1 million bopd
  • less than a million North Dakotans
  • CLR suggests Bakken reserves are significantly greater than 20 billion bbls
  • North Dakota's "Legacy Fund" invested in cash at 0.02%
Disclaimer: all numbers are the opinions of me and me alone based on various sources. I would not swear on a Bible that any or all of statistics stated are accurate, but that's my worldview. 

From Sweden, close enough to Norway: 

Waterloo, ABBA


  1. Wasn't there some talk last year (2013) that they're moving some of the Legacy Fund to investments (stocks/global funds or whatever investment vehicles something like this uses) after they reached $1 billion? Thought it was already started from articles I read, could be wrong.

    1. You are most likely correct. I don't know. I'm waiting for "The Bismarck Tribune" to update us on the Legacy Fund. One would think that as a public fund, it would be posted monthly in an easily accessible format. It is interesting to me that the state media has so little interest in this subject.

      I spent a couple of wonderful years in Alabama and was very, very impressed with how they managed their state pension program. I don't know how it is doing now, but Alabama seemed to have its act together when it came to investing.

      Reading the early stories about the "Legacy Fund" gave me the distinct feeling that the "smartest and brightest" in Bismarck were overwhelmed by what was coming out of the Bakken.

      But you are probably correct. I hope I am dreadfully wrong on this.