Prof Says Recoverable Oil in Bakken Could Increase

By Beacon Staff

GRAND FORKS, N.D. – A University of North Dakota professor says research could lead to methods that could more than double the amount of oil recovered from the Bakken shale formation in North Dakota and Montana.

A report from the U.S. Geological Survey has estimated up to 4.3 billion barrels of oil can be recovered from the Bakken in the two states using current technology.

Assistant UND Professor Zhengwen Zeng said that estimate covers only about 1 percent of the total oil in the formation. He said the Bakken’s dense rock makes recovery difficult.

UND researchers have a $1 million federal grant to study the formation and look for ways to extract more oil. The research is to start in October.

Zeng said increasing the Bakken’s recovery rate by just 1 percent would produce more than 2 billion additional barrels of oil.