Hoeven: USGS to Work With State, Industry on Comprehensive Study of Williston Basin

Senator Hosted USGS Director in Bismarck in August to Highlight ND Energy Industry

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven, a member of Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and Energy Appropriations Committee, today announced that the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) will conduct a comprehensive, broad-based resource estimate for the Williston Basin. The USGS notified Hoeven today that it will undertake the analysis as a result of a meeting he hosted in Bismarck with USGS Acting Director William Werkheiser. Hoeven brought Werkheiser to the state to hear firsthand from energy leaders about the latest data, geological surveys and technical achievements in the oil field. 

“Our state’s energy industry continues to develop new and innovative ways to produce more energy with better environmental stewardship,” said Hoeven. “With these innovations come new assumptions about oil production in the Williston Basin. That’s why our producers made a strong case for this new USGS study. We appreciate the USGS taking a comprehensive look at the region as they work with the State and industry to update the estimate of recoverable oil.”

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.