Posted: Apr 29, 2010 10:43 AM
A new state study says an oil reservoir in western North Dakota holds nearly as much recoverable crude as the rich Bakken shale formation above it.
The study released Thursday says current technology could lead to the recovery of about 1.9 billion barrels in the Three Forks-Sanish formation. The Three Forks is made up of sand and porous rock directly below North Dakota's portion of the Bakken formation, which has been estimated to hold 2.1 billion barrels of recoverable oil.
Geologists and oil companies are not sure if the Three Forks-Sanish is a separate oil-producing formation or if it acts as a trap, catching oil that leaks from the Bakken shale above. Some say it could be a combination.