Canadian Manufacturing

NEB releases assessment of Saskatchewan’s Bakken oil reserves

The Bakken Formation has been producing from conventional reservoirs since the mid-1950



CALGARY—The National Energy Board and the Saskatchewan Ministry of Economy have completed their joint Assessment of Unconventional Petroleum Resources in the Bakken Formation of Saskatchewan.

The Bakken Formation has been producing oil from conventional reservoirs since the mid-1950s. Since 2004, however, industry has shifted its focus to unconventional “tight” oil, primarily because the combination of horizontal drilling and multi-stage hydraulic fracturing has made it economic to develop.

The assessment notes that the unconventional, marketable resources of the Bakken are expected to be 1.4 billion barrels of marketable oil and 2.9 trillion cubic feet of marketable natural gas.

By comparison, the world’s largest petroleum exporter Saudi Arabia has a total proved reserve of 266 billion barrels.

For this study, the National Energy Board and the Saskatchewan Ministry of the Economy focused on the unconventional resources contained within the siltstones and fine-grained sandstones above and below the conventional sandstone reservoir found in the middle of the formation.

The National Energy Board is an independent federal regulator of several parts of Canada’s energy industry with the safety of Canadians and protection of the environment as its top priority. Its purpose is to regulate pipelines, energy development and trade in the Canadian public interest.

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