The jobless rate in the 12 North Dakota counties over the Bakken Formation is less than 2% and employers are having a very difficult time attracting talented workers – even though the population of these counties is growing rapidly.More at Fox Business.
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Northwestern North Dakota has one of the lowest population densities in the United States; however, this night lights image from NASA shows the area has hundreds of points of illumination. Many of these lights are Bakken Formation  oil wells where natural gas that does not have a pipeline to market is being flared. Flaring is common practice in the oil and gas industry although many object to the practice .
“After decades of hydraulic fracturing-related activity there is little evidence if any that hydraulic fracturing itself has contaminated fresh groundwater. No occurrences are known where hydraulic fracturing fluids have moved upward from the zone of fracturing of a horizontal well into the fresh drinking water.” Quoted from the Association of American State Geologists statement.More at Association of American State Geologists.
Oil and gas production in North Dakota has been rising steadily as the Bakken Formation is being developed. North Dakota is now the #2 oil-producing state and production continues to rise.More at Platts.com.
The natural gas industry has prepared a movie, “Truthland”, that responds to the HBO movie “Gasland”.More at Truthland@YouTube.
The United States Geological Survey has published: “Water Quality Studied in Areas of Unconventional Oil and Gas Development, Including Areas Where Hydraulic Fracturing Techniques are Used, in the United States.”More at United States Geological Survey.
Record amounts of oil and natural gas are being produced in North Dakota. However, about 1/3 of the natural gas is being flared because of inadequate pipelines to carry the gas to market. This article explains why the state needs more pipelines to de…More at CNBC.
In western North Dakota a sandy rock unit known as the Pronghorn Formation, located below the Bakken Formation and above the Three Forks Formation, is yielding oil from horizontal wells.More at Grand Forks Herald.
“The chances of rogue fractures due to shale gas fracking operations extending beyond 0.6 kilometres from the injection source is a fraction of one percent, according to new research led by Durham University. The analysis is based on data from thousands of fracking operations in the USA and natural rock fractures in Europe and Africa.” Quoted from the Durham University press release.More at Durham University.
Drilling for oil in the shale formations of Texas and North Dakota often results in the flaring of natural gas – as some of these areas are not served by natural gas pipelines. Although this practice is somewhat of an industry tradition it is drawing increasing criticism because it wastes a non-renewable energy resource, is an economic loss, produces air pollution and contributes to climate change.More at FuelFix.com.
Five states account for over 50% of the USA’s crude oil production with production rapidly increasing in Texas and North Dakota.More at Energy Information Administration.
“Hydraulic fracturing of shale formations to extract natural gas has no direct connection to reports of groundwater contamination [...] many problems ascribed to hydraulic fracturing are related to processes common to all oil and gas drilling operations, such as casing failures or poor cement jobs.” Quoted from the University of Texas at Austin press release.More at University of Texas at Austin.
Oil and natural gas production in North Dakota is at all-time highs, fueled by intense drilling activity in the Bakken Formation, Three Forks Formations and other rock units.More at Grand Forks Herald.
The EIA Natural Gas Weekly Update has an interesting graph that tracks the month-by-month dry gas production growth from various shale gas fields in the United States. For example, it shows that production from the Haynesville Shale started to increas…More at Energy Information Administration.
Even though oil production from North Dakota’s Bakken Formation has propelled the state to new production records there is still a backlog of wells to be fracked.More at Bloomberg.
Many property owners are very surprised when the royalties that they receive from a natural gas well on their property decline sharply. They are learning about production decline curves.More at Geology.com.
Rising production from the Bakken Shale has propelled North Dakota up to the fourth largest oil producing state behind Texas, Alaska and California.More at Energy Information Administration.
The Energy Information Administration reports that about 1/3 of the natural gas produced from the Bakken Formation of North Dakota is flared instead of marketed because natural gas pipelines are not present in the production area or they can not accept…More at Energy Information Administration.
An article in the New York Times reviews some potential rewards and problems that occur when a landowner decides to lease his property for oil and and gas development.
Related: Mineral Rights 
 http://geology.com/articles/mineral-rights.shtmlMore at New York Times.
There is still more than one month remaining in 2011, but oil production in North Dakota has broken the annual record set in 2010. The state is on-target to produce about 150 million barrels.More at FuelFix.com.
Thousands of high-paying new jobs are unfilled in North Dakota where natural gas and oil are being produced from the Bakken Formation, the Niobrara Shale and other rock units.More at MSNBC.
Although the United States Geological Survey estimates that the Bakken Formation beneath parts of North Dakota, Montana and Canada might contain over 4 billion barrels of oil, Harold Hamm, believes that it might contain up to 24 billion barrels.More at Wall Street Journal.
Is natural gas part of the shale or is it a fugitive commodity that is not an integral part of any specific rock unit? Will a refined legal definition of natural gas in Pennsylvania overturn thousands of historic leases?More at Business Week.
The number of oil rigs drilling in the United States has surpassed the number of natural gas rigs for the first time in 18 years. Low natural gas prices discourage drilling and the discovery of oil in shale plays such as the Utica Shale, Bakken Shale and Eagle Ford Shale has attracted attention.
More in the Houston Chronicle.
The Energy Policy Research Foundation has released a report titled: The Bakken Boom: An Introduction to North Dakota’s Shale Oil. Oil production from the Bakken could surpass 700,000 barrels per day within the next few years.
The Baker Institute for Public Policy at Rice University has published a report titled: “Shale Gas and U.S. National Security”. “This study assesses the impact of U.S. domestic shale gas development on energy security and U.S. national security, with emphasis on the geopolitical consequences of rising supplies of U.S. natural gas from shale and the implications for U.S. foreign policy.” Quoted from the report summary.
In the past three years oil and natural gas production from the Bakken Formation of North Dakota and Montana has increased dramatically causing the United States Geological Survey to launch an update of its last assessment that was completed just three years ago. More at UPI.com.
A post on the Seeking Alpha blog details how successful Chesapeake Energy has been at rapidly leasing enormous acreages in all of the major natural gas shale plays in the United States. They author calls them a “land acquisition machine”.
Diverging estimates by three different organizations with significant expertise in oil and natural gas assessments leave one wondering how much oil really is in the Bakken and Three Forks Formations? Read the details on the Trib.com website.
Here are the estimates….
USGS…. 4.3 billion barrels
North Dakota Geological Survey…. 11 billion barrels
Continental Resources…. 20 billion barrels
Oil production in North Dakota has been rising rapidly over the past few years, driven by the success of the Bakken Shale. A “Chart of the Day” article on the Bloomberg.com website forecasts that the crude output of North Dakota is likely to surpass that of Alaska within the next couple of years.