North Dakota’s Oil Boom Fueling Legacy Fund

Bakken reservoir fields in Williston Basin

The recent discoveries of massive oil reserves in North Dakota’s Bakken rock formation have given an economic jolt for the state. Oil sits underground in a shale rock formation extending across Canada’s Saskatchewan province, northeastern Montana and western North Dakota. This area is known as Bakken. With the utilization of hydraulic fracturing and high oil prices, extraction in the Bakken shale oil field has dramatically increased.

According to the U.S. government’s Energy Information Administration, in 2005 about 3,000 barrels were extracted per day. In 2010, the number is about 225,000 barrels per day.

In 1995, the United States Geological Survey checked Bakken and found about 151 million barrels of recoverable oil. Now there is an estimated 6 to 24 billion barrels of recoverable oil.
North Dakota’s state government predicts US$ 1.5 billion in surplus and reserves by June 30, 2013. The voter-approved Legacy Fund already had US$ 219.5 million which is funded by oil and gas tax revenue.


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