BAKKEN OIL BUSINESS JOURNAL

June/July 2013

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The Eastern Transitional Continuous Oil AU is defined by the 450HI contour on the west and wraps around to the 100-ohm resistivity line of Hester and Schmoker (1985) and the 650-HI contour line used by Pollastro and others (2008). Bakken production in northern Divide County, in northwestern North Dakota, was also included in this AU because the thermal maturity in that area is similar to that along the eastern margin of the Eastern Transitional Continuous AU, and it reflects the transitional nature of the thermal maturity from the center of the basin outward. The geologic "sweet spot" is defined as the area where the formation pressure gradient is equal to or exceeds 0.68 psi/ ft (Theloy and Sonnenberg, 2013) and includes Parshall field and the eastern portion of Sanish field. The Northwest Transitional Continuous Oil AU is also defined on the basis of lower thermal maturities (>450 HI). The western boundary is defined by the 100-ohm resistivity line and 650-HI contour, the northern boundary is placed along the U.S.-Canadian border, and the remainder of the AU follows the 450-HI contour used to define the Central Basin Continuous Oil AU. THREE FORKS FORMATION The Three Forks Conventional AU is a hypothetical AU defined outside of the continuous AUs by the maximum extent of the Three Forks Formation, which extends beyond the Bakken shale source intervals (fig. 2). The Three Forks Continuous Oil AU is defined by the lateral extent of the upper Bakken shale member in conjunction with the southernmost extent of the Pronghorn Member in North Dakota (fig. 2). The northern boundary is placed along the U.S.-Canadian border. The geologic "sweet spot" encompasses the region of maximum hydrocarbon generation (as determined by HI values), maximum formation pressures, and structural enhancements related to lineaments and the Nesson and Little Knife anticlines. RESOURCE SUMMARY The USGS assessed technically recoverable continuous (unconventional) resources for six AUs defined in the Bakken and Three Forks Formations resulting in estimated means of 7,375 million barrels of oil (MMBO), 6,723 billion cubic feet of gas (BCFG), and 527 million barrels of natural gas liquids (MMBNGL) (table 2). This includes mean-estimated oil resources from the Elm Coulee-Billings Nose Continuous Oil AU (283 MMBO), the Central Basin Continuous Oil AU (1,122 MMBO), the Nesson-Little Knife Continuous Oil AU (1,149 MMBO), the Eastern Transitional Continuous Oil AU (883 MMBO), the Northwest Transitional Continuous Oil AU (207 MMBO), and the Three Forks Continuous Oil AU (3,731 MMBO). The two conventional AUs (Middle Bakken Conventional Assessment Unit and Three Forks Conventional Assessment Unit) have estimated mean-recoverable resources of 8 MMBO and 3 BCFG. ■ Credit: U.S. Geological Survey - Department of the Interior/USGS For Additional Information: Supporting geologic studies of the Bakken and Three Forks Formations and the methodology used in the assessment are in progress. Please see the USGS Energy Resources Program Web site (http://energy.usgs.gov). Digital Journal available at:  B A K K E N O I L B I Z . C O M / d i g i t a l - j o u r n a l 39

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