Click on Disclaimer.

Bakken 101; 1.0; 2.0; 2.5.; 3.0. Link here.
From FAQs.

82a. What do you mean by Bakken 2.0? See this post. Important data points:

  • October 19, 2016: the beginning of Bakken 2.0
  • the event that triggered the Bakken 2.0 designation: the SM Energy announcement that it was selling some Bakken acreage/assets to Oasis
  • it appears Permian Shale 2.0 began with the WPX, Noble, and XOM announcements regarding acquisitions in the Permian -- late 2016/early 2017
82b. What do you mean by Bakken 2.5? See this post.
  • Bakken 1.0: began in the summer of 2007; it was originally tagged "Bakken101" and I continue to use the "Bakken101" tag 
  • Bakken 2.0: October 19, 2016
  • Bakken 2.5: April 10, 2018 -- correlates/corresponds with CLR's new completion strategies; North Dakota crude oil production to set new records; increased focus on the Permian vs the Bakken
  • Bakken 3.0: when the new USGS Bakken survey is released  
Bakken 101: across all "eras."
2020: Philosophy And Direction Of The Blog

I try very, very hard to stay on topic on the Bakken blog -- sticking with (mostly) the science of the Bakken, but, of course, all things connected with the Bakken: money, politics, government regulations, mineral rights, etc. All of that is important but the science of the Bakken is what I really want the Bakken blog to be about.

Having said that, there is so much more I am interested in. I am using the blog as a personal "folder" to archive "stuff" that I am interested in, no matter how far removed from the Bakken it might be.

Example: I was trying to find a website that I had discovered some nights ago, but was unable to find it. Then I recalled that I likely linked it somewhere on the Bakken blog. It turns out I had, and I found the site I was looking for.

I am living in an insulated world: I live in an apartment complex in a somewhat upper middle-class neighborhood where the emphasis is clearly on good education opportunities for toddlers through high school. I am not affected directly by any of the current events in Seattle, Minneapolis, etc. I further insulate myself by not watching the news, and surfing only that part of the internet that I am interested in following. Likewise, I don't subscribe to any mainstream newspapers or magazines. I subscribe to periodicals like the New York Review of Books and The London Review of Books, very clearly with an editorial slant different than my own, but I enjoy good writing. I can pick and choose the essays to read.

So, having said all that, I have no dog in that fight in Seattle or Minneapolis. I am strictly a spectator. I actually think that CHAZ is somewhat comical if it weren't so serious. I think it will have profound effects on what it means to be an "urban" center in the United States these days. I see autonomous zones in Seattle and, perhaps Minneapolis, and perhaps even Portland, as "one-offs." I can't imagine Chicago, NYC, or even San Francisco allowing this to happen.

I think most sane Americans were initially outraged by what as happening in Seattle and Minneapolis (if they were paying attention) but now have this attitude: fine, if the city of Seattle wants to cede the downtown area to a motley crew, then let Seattle do it. It will be a wake-up call to the rest of the country. If more autonomous zones sprout, at least city councils can't say they weren't warned.

It will be interesting to see how Seattle city council sorts this one out.

For me, and most Americans, I suppose, we have so many more diversions that if this is how the members of Seattle city council want to spend their days and nights, that's fine with me, grappling with a bunch of self-centered malcontents. I'm going to enjoy music, reading, travel, grandchildren, -- I guess the pursuit of happiness and watching out for the grandchildren.

History Of The Blog
  • 2007 - 2009: first iteration of the blog; deleted entirely sometime in 2009
  • 2009/2010 time frame: the blog was brought back up with a clearer focus on the Bakken, though personal views on President Obama, ObamaCare, and Global Warming were a major component of the blog
  • 2012 time frame: sometime in 2012 (+/- 6 months, I suppose; I forget); the site was "stolen"; I was able to locate the entire blog; recovered it by using a new URL; I have spent an inordinate amount of time changing "old" links to the "new" URL but still many, many links need to be updated; 
  • 2013 - 2014: increasing number of comments from readers complaining about my notes on the Bakken; too many readers apparently have/had not read my welcome or disclaimer, and do not understand the purpose of the blog
  • December 27, 2014: made the decision to shut down the blog
  • January 1, 2015: the blog will be shut down; reversed decision; blog to continue
  • May 27, 2015: page views go over 7.5 million; 7,505,073 at 1:00 p.m. CT
  • July 8, 2017: page views go over 10.0 million; 10,000,002, 7:46 p.m. CT 
  • April 7, 2018: 11 million pageviews;

Overview Posted January 10, 2012, But Shot in 2008

Books. These should download as PDFs on your desktop. 

EIA: trends in costs, March, 2016: EIA white paper on trends in US oil and natural gas upstream costs, published in March, 2016, might be of interest. The link will take you to a 141-page PDF. Here is the link itself: https://www.eia.gov/analysis/studies/drilling/pdf/upstream.pdf.

Comprehensive city and county plan: draft, 2015. Public comments begin, 2016

Bakken 2.0: October, 2016.

A look back: March 1, 2011, presentation (a PDF file).

[Note: my goal is to post not less than five new posts each day as well as update as many as ten old posts. When reading today's most recent posting, be sure to scroll down to see all postings for that day. Readers should assume data is only as current as of the date originally posted, but updates are often provided, and production data is updated on old posts when I find them.]

This is NOT an investment site. Do not use this site to make investment decisions.

This site is entirely about the oil industry in North Dakota (with occasional political commentary). There is an oil boom going on in the state of North Dakota. It started about 2004 following incredible results in eastern Montana in 2000.

My only agenda with regard to this site is education.  The original intent was not to include news about investing and investments, but that is absolutely impossible to do when talking for an extended period of time on the oil industry. So, over time, the site has morphed to include thoughts on investments not only in the Bakken but all oil-producing formations in the Williston Basin. Right now it's subtitled "All Bakken All The Time" but it's very likely that may have to change over time as more formations become more exciting.

I generally post anywhere from three to five stand-alone postings each day, so it is important to scroll down to check out all the news for the day. I also update another five to ten (sometimes more) articles linked on the sidebar at the right or at one of the pages tabbed at the top.

North Dakota natural gas production hits milestone, February, 2016, posted April 24, 2016.

Map of the Bakken, April 24, 2016:

Advantaged oil. New term, October 13, 2019.

Update on the Tyler and the Pronghorn Sand. Link here for two in-depth articles, July, 2017.

Goldman Sachs on the transformation of the oil industry, "lower for longer," 2017. 

The shale revolution, Part 1; Part 2 -- March, 2017.

The 2017 BP Energy Outlook.

US tight oil production up against its limits, Hart Energy/EnergyPost -- May 16, 2016; archived here;

The slump in oil prices, 2014 - 2016

Update, responding to very low oil prices, RBN Energy, September 25, 2015

The Red Queen, Gloom and Doom, John Kemp, September, 2015 (archived)

Update, July 27, 2015.

Mark Perry's 2015 summer vacation in the Bakken: Part I and Part II and Part III

Update, June, 2015

An upbeat assessment of the Bakken / Eagle Ford during a horrendous slump in oil prices, May 19, 2015. 

Upbeat despite the downturn in the price of oil, posted March 20, 2015:
Top 100 oil fields in the US; 22 of them are in North Dakota

KLJ's Impact Study, 2014 - 2019, September, 2014

Working to not lose its oil wealth, VOX, December 11, 2014

Bakken regains position as largest shale play in the US, EIA, December 6, 2014

The 5-year outlook for the Bakken, The Bakken Magazine, October 23, 2014

Links to the 2014 Williston Economic Summit, September, 2014

The future of domestic, unconventional oil, EOG/CEO Bill Thomas, September 4, 2014

90% recovery rate with CO2 foam? September 3, 2014

Why Shale Really Is Revolutionary, John Kemp, Reuters, London, July 7, 2014

Perhaps the best and most recent up to this point (2013). Google: Geologic assessment of technically recoverable oil in the Devonian; the first hit should provide a link to a PDF. 

Review of North Dakota oil families, 2013, excellent review.

USGS assessment of the Spearfish, chapter 4, 2013, excellent overview.

"North Dakota Went Boom," NY Times, January 31, 2013.

Power Forecast, October 16, 2012 (a PDF file, from the NDIC).

Market Analysis, April 12, 2010.

WSJ: The Bakken Boom, February 26, 2010. 

A Basic Analysis of the Bakken Boom, February, 2010. Google: a basic analysis of the Bakken boom 2010. The first hit should be a pdf.

Overview of the Petroleum Geology of The North Dakota Williston Basin, Heck, LeFever, Fischer, LeFever, undated, probably 2000; data up through 1999

A Brief History of the Bakken: January, 2010.

UND, Julie LeFever, the Bakken/TFS, May, 2010 (no longer available at that source); possibly an alternate here (PDF for 2010 TFS assessment; when you get to this link, download it; your computer may automatically "unzip" it; if it does, scroll to the pdf)

The main purpose of this site is educational. Over time, investment analysis has increased (see above). This site is an attempt to provide information about "the Bakken" and to direct folks to the news stories coming out of the North Dakota oil industry. It is very, very superficial in scope. I probably understand about 1 percent of all that goes on in the industry (if that much). I have a poor memory and often make simple mistakes, but will correct them when I become aware of them. I find myself making more typographical errors as the years go by.

[My first site had a fair amount of political commentary, but that commentary seemed to detract from my overall message. That was one of the reasons I started this new site, starting completely over. I planned not to add political commentary, but when I saw so much double-speak, and opportunities lost in the current US administration, I was unable to maintain my silence. I will be adding political commentary periodically. Sorry.]

I grew up in Williston, in the heart of the Williston Oil Basin (WOB) and have followed the oil industry my entire life, in a very general way. I invest in publicly traded companies through the stock market, but my investments in WOB are trivial compared to my overall investment portfolio. I own no mineral rights, and have no inside information regarding the WOB. I do talk with people who live there and occasionally receive information second- and third-hand. I do not subscribe to any newsletters. I began subscribing to the NDIC basic subscription service in late 2010.

I enjoy following the activity in the WOB, but am not sure that investing in the oil companies in the WOB is the best way to go; there are many other opportunities in the stock market that might be better. At the current time, of the  Williston Oil Basin-related companies, I am invested in the following, as well as others: BR (COP), CLR, ENB, EEP, and SLB. (I am currently not holding shares in MDU, one of my favorite long-term holdings. I no longer have shares in my favorite company, BNI, because Warren Buffet bought it in 2010. I sold all my NOG during the "bear raid" of 2011.) I trade in and out of these companies with others in the WOB. I would never recommend any companies because  everyone's investment styles are different. I am often accused of being too exuberant about the WOB, and I admit it. I find the oil activity in North Dakota very interesting. It's easy to be negative about things in life, so I tend to over-compensate in some areas by being too optimistic when it comes to the oil industry.

I am definitely a novice at all this, so if something I say doesn't seem correct, it may not be. There are many ways on the web to cross-check "facts."
The largest continuous oil reservoir in the continental United States.
Additional Information

This site should not be used to make investment decisions, although it may be one of several data points to lead you in certain directions. Much of what I write can look factual, when in fact it is opinion or my general understanding of the issue. Over time, I assume this site will evolve, based on reader feedback. As expected, it was hard not to have op-ed pieces, and some have already been added.

About the site's name. The friends of my "old" Million Dollar Way blog know that the name of the site has nothing to do with money -- at least not directly in terms of me or investing. When I was growing up, the road leading out of Williston was known as the "Million Dollar Way" because of the automobile dealerships and businesses related to the oil industry.

The "Million Dollar Way" was my road out of town to an exciting life. This "Million Dollar Way" blog is a new road leading me to new destinations.

Analysis of the Bakken, 2006. "Bakken shale may prove to be productive."

Videos of Williston, North Dakota 

How the Bakken got its name, from The Dickinson Press, November 24, 2012. 
Lorin is the only son of Henry O. Bakken. The Bakken formation — the pool of oil that lies beneath western North Dakota, northeast Montana and part of Canada — is named for the well drilled in 1951 and 1952 on the Henry O. Bakken farm northeast of Tioga.
While Lorin Bakken, 59, says he feels honored, he avoids the attention he could easily draw to himself. He still lives in Tioga, but he keeps such a low profile that many people don’t know he’s connected to the Bakken boom.
He lives in a modest house, doesn’t own a car and hasn’t worked since he stopped working on his family’s farm in 1992. He primarily keeps to himself, although he regularly attends Zion Lutheran Church, eats lunch twice a week at the senior center and does errands in downtown Tioga.
Lorin said he was private before his name became famous, and he hasn’t changed.
The first Bakken well.

Tioga: oil capital of North Dakota. Officially.

Miscellaneous Links

Climate change in the West North Central Region, ND-SD-MT-WY, a PDF file. It's fairly long and will take a moment to download.

Note: reference to "the Million Dollar Way" in this article. "Million Dollar Way" is the commercial area of Williston, north, on "2&85" leading out of Williston.


This blog seems to be optimized for Firefox/MacOS. I find errors in formatting when I check the blog on Internet Explorer browsers; perhaps they are older versions of Internet Explorer.


Undated, But References the 2008 Oil Boom and Record Low Unemployment

Other Bakken Blogs

On January 14, 2013, I received this comment: "Of all the Bakken blogs yours is the most political." I did not know if that was a compliment or a complaint. Of course, it is not true. To the best of my knowledge, the "Bakken blog" that is most political is Teegue's water cooler. The last post for the water cooler was dated August 24, 2012.

Actually, I don't know if the water cooler discussion group is moderated by "Teegue," but it is an offshoot of the Bakken Shale Discussion Group which allows no political discussion whatsoever. More than one infraction and you will be kicked out of the discussion group. Teegue is also on record that no one is to mention the "Million Dollar Way" blogspot on his discussion group.

But the comment about the Million Dollar Way being the most political of all Bakken blogs gave me an opportunity to google "Bakken blogs." And this is what showed up at 9:00 p.m. EST, January 14, 2013:

#1: Bakken Blog: "oil patch coverage since 2007." It started out as a blog about Mountrail County only but has since expanded to include the entire Bakken and Three Forks oil play.  Without other sites about the energy industry, this blog's information provides no perspective on what is going on elsewhere.

#2: The Million Dollar Way blog: yup. #2.

#3: ShaleBlog: today's first two posts at that blog: a) Indonesia Energy Economics Report; b) Raising severance taxes in Ohio.

#4: WSJ Blogs: the story -- Exxon's $1.6 billion Bakken buy may herald more oil deals, dated September 20, 2012.

#5: Unconventional Energy Blog: The most recent post was January 8, 2013. Prior to that was December 20, 2012. Before that, December 18, and before that December 12.

#6: Mineral Rights Forum: the name says it all, and is probably the best forum for mineral rights owners anywhere in the states.

#7: Bakken Blog, Chronicling the Boom in the Kuwait of the Prairie: the most recent post is dated March 3, 2012, "And I'm Bakk" (sic); the post prior to that was dated October 24, 2011.

#8: A Motley Fool hit.

#9: Bakken Shale Blog: the original Teegue blog. Is no longer active; last post was dated March 23, 2010.

#10: A National Geographic hit.

#11:  True Conservatives on Twitter. I can't make this stuff up. That would be all political.

#12: A Huffington Post hit.

#13: The Bakken: the posts are undated. General information. Tell me if you prefer it to any other blog on the Bakken. Probably not.

#14:  A Star-Tribune (Minneapolis?) hit.

#15: Drilling. The blog covers many plays. The last Bakken-related post was dated November 16, 2012.

#16: A CNBC hit.

#17: a repeat of one of the above

#18: Teegue's Bakken Shale Discussion Group, linked above. It used to be one of the best forums for Bakken oil discussion. When googling "Bakken blog" it now pops up #18.

#19: another repeat of one of the above

#20: Bakken Today: a professional Fargo Forum Communications blog; aggregates Bakken news

Updated: January 14, 2013. (Not all information updated.)