Hoeven Presses USGS Nominee for Update of Oil Reserves in Williston Basin

Senator Worked with USGS to Secure Last Estimate Released in 2013

WASHINGTON – At a Senate Energy Committee hearing this week, Senator John Hoeven asked Dr. Suzette M. Kimball Ph.D, the nominee to be director of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), to update the USGS study of recoverable reserves in the Williston Basin. Kimball said that if confirmed she will work with Hoeven to ensure an update.

“USGS released its last estimate for the Bakken and Three Forks in 2013,” said Hoeven. “That assessment more than doubled the previous estimate and has been tremendously helpful in attracting infrastructure investment along with energy development. We’ve worked with USGS in the past to update our study of recoverable reserves and we look forward to working with them in the future to ensure that we have an updated and timely survey to help us plan for the future in western North Dakota.”

At Hoeven’s request, USGS released a new study of recoverable oil reserves for the Bakken and Three Forks Formation in April 2013. That study determined that there are approximately 7.4 billion barrels of technically recoverable oil, more than twice the previous estimate in the Williston Basin. The report also estimates there is 6.7 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

In early 2011, Hoeven requested that USGS complete a new study of recoverable reserves in the Williston Basin and also organized a meeting with USGS; city, state and county officials; and oil industry leaders in Bismarck to bring industry, community and agency leaders together. USGS leaders, geologists and engineers were on hand at the Bismarck meeting to hear evidence from oil producers regarding the need, value and timeliness of a new, updated study. USGS completed the update in about 19 months and released the latest estimate in 2013.