Bakken Formation - 5 of 21

Bakken Formation FAQs - 21 Found

What are some of the problems with drilling in the Bakken Formation?

Oil is produced from the Bakken Formation in a manner that is a refinement of traditional oil field practice.  Traditional oil fields produce from rocks with relatively high porosity and permeability, so oil flows out fairly easily.  In contrast, the Bakken Formation is a relatively tight formation consisting of low porosity and permeability rock, from which oil flows only with difficulty.  To overcome this problem, wells are drilled horizontally, at depth, into the Bakken and then water and other materials (like sand) are pumped downhole at high pressure (called hydraulic fracturing (a.k.a. hydrofracking ro fracking)) to create open fractures, creating artificial permeability in these tight rocks.  The oil can then flow more easily out of these fractures and tight pores.  Traditional oil fields regularly employ hydraulic fracturing (a.k.a. hydrofracking or fracking) and non-vertical wells have also long been drilled.  The technique has been fine-tuned for use in the Bakken and other similar tight continuous reservoirs.


Learn more: USGS National Oil and Gas Assessment (choose Williston Basin in the map to see all available documents and links).


Tags: Natural Resources, Energy, Gas, Oil, Bakken, Drilling, Continuous Oil