Hoeven Hosts USGS Acting Director, Presses for Updated Resource Estimates in the Bakken

Senator Advancing USGS Study that Reflects Latest Data, Improved Enhanced Oil Recovery Technology

BISMARCK, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven, a member of Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and Energy Appropriations Committee, today hosted William Werkheiser, acting director of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), for a meeting in Bismarck to outline the need for updated recoverable resource estimates for the Bakken region. Hoeven arranged the visit so Werkheiser could hear firsthand from energy leaders in the state about the latest data, geological surveys and technical achievements in the oil field.

“Oil production has remained near one million barrels a day in North Dakota, despite persistent, low oil prices,” Hoeven said. “That is a testament to the ingenuity of our state’s energy industry, which continues to find ways to reduce costs and improve the performance of their wells. The innovations that have been developed over the past several years have changed many of the assumptions about oil production in the Bakken. That’s why it is so important for Acting Director Werkheiser to meet with our producers, who can make a strong case for a new USGS study. Updated estimates are vital for providing certainty to energy producers and encouraging investment in the Bakken.”

Hoeven spearheaded a similar effort that resulted in the latest USGS study from 2013, which more than doubled the estimates of technically recoverable oil at that time, from 3.65 billion barrels to 7.4 billion barrels.

In addition, Hoeven continues working through the Appropriations Committee to support federal research programs that empower producers to get more out of oil and gas wells, while also reducing the environmental footprint of drilling. To this end, the Senate’s Fiscal Year 2018 energy funding bill includes $26 million for enhanced oil recovery research, a $6 million increase over the previous year.