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Cramer Briefed As USGS Doubles Estimate of Recoverable Oil in Williston Basin

Apr 30, 2013
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today Congressman Kevin Cramer, Senator John Hoeven, and Congressional staff were briefed by U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) officials on a new study finding the amount of recoverable oil in the Williston Basin to be more than double the previous estimate. The report released today indicates the Bakken Formation and Three Forks Formations, together, contain 7.4 billion barrels of recoverable oil, compared to the 2008 assessment of 3.65 billion barrels. Additionally, the new study found 6.7 trillion cubic feet of technically recoverable natural gas exists in the Williston Basin.

“This new data is exciting for North Dakota, and for the United States, as we continue to work toward the important goal of national energy security. I want to thank Senator John Hoeven for making such a strong case to the USGS for an updated study. Today confirms its need,” Cramer said.

The 2008 assessment did not include significant information from the Three Forks Formation due to a lack of available data. This formation is now estimated to contain 3.73 billion barrels of recoverable oil.

“What we see in the data from the Three Forks Formation is a direct result of new technologies becoming developed in the energy industry during the last five years. Looking forward, the future holds even greater potential for new discovery thanks to the ingenuity of our developers.”

Congressman Cramer is a member of the Energy Subcommittees for both the House Natural Resources and Science, Space and Technology Committees. Prior to his election to the United States House of Representatives in 2012, Cramer served on the North Dakota Public Service Commission. During his tenure, beginning in 2003, Cramer dealt with all aspects of the Commission’s portfolio, including pipeline and electrical transmission siting, regulation of North Dakota’s three investor owned utilities, and management of North Dakota’s Surface Mine Coal Reclamation Act State primacy program.