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Bakken Shale North Dakota

The Bakken Shale covers an area of approximately 200,000 square miles in the Williston Basin. The Bakken Shale blankets much of western North Dakota.

Bakken Shale Companies

Significant producers within the Bakken Shale are:

  • American Oil & Gas
  • Anschutz
  • Baytex Energy
  • Brigham Exploration
  • BTA Oil Producers
  • ConocoPhillips
  • Continental Resources
  • Cornerstone Energy
  • Denbury Resources
  • Eagle Operating
  • Encore Operating
  • Enerplus Resources
  • EOG Resources
  • Exxon Mobil
  • Fidelity E&P
  • Helis Oil & Gas
  • Hess Corp.
  • Hunt Oil
  • Marathon Oil
  • Kodiak Oil & Gas
  • Murex Petroleum
  • Newfield
  • Northern Oil
  • Oasis Petroleum
  • Petro-Hunt
  • Petroleum Development Corp.
  • Questar
  • Sagebrush Petroleum
  • Simray
  • Slawson Exploration
  • St. Mary Land & Exploration
  • SM Energy
  • Tracker Resources
  • Whiting Petroleum Corporation
  • XTO Energy
  • Zavanna
  • Zenergy

Bakken Shale Geology

The Bakken shale is a Devonian-Mississippian aged formation. The widespread Upper Devonian-Lower Mississippian Bakken formation consists of an upper and a lower shale member with a mixed siliciclastic carbonate middle member, that is usually referred to as a dolomitic sand (or a sandy dolomite). Both the upper and lower shales are organic-rich marine shale of relatively consistent lithology.

These shales are both the petroleum source rocks (organic rich) as well as seals for the reservoir. The formation has also sourced the Three Forks Sanish, an underlying dolomite, in much of the Williston Basin. In 2008, the USGS estimated technically recoverable resources from the Bakken could reach 4.3 billion barrels. In 2010, the North Dakota Industrial Commission released a study that estimates 1.9 billion barrels of recoverable reserves from the Three Forks Sanish formation.

Bakken Shale Location

The Bakken Shale is located in the following North Dakota counties:

  • Billings County ND
  • Bottineau County ND
  • Bowman County ND
  • Burke County ND
  • Divide County ND
  • Dunn County ND
  • Golden Valley County ND
  • McHenry County ND
  • McKenzie County ND
  • McLean County ND
  • Mountrail County ND
  • Renville County ND
  • Slope County ND
  • Stark County ND
  • Ward County ND
  • Williams County ND

Additional Reading

  • Oil & Gas 101 – General information for mineral rights owners.
  • Bakken Shale Montana – Short article describing geology, location & counties within the Bakken Shale of Montana. Written for oil and gas mineral rights and royalty owners in MT.

Cash Payment for Your Royalty

If you own a producing royalty in this area and would like to consider a no obligation cash offer for your producing royalties, use this sale inquiry form.