What are the realistic chances to retrieve oil and gas from the Bakken Formation?
Very realistic. Oil and gas have been retrieved from the Bakken Formation since the 1950’s. To learn more about current estimates of the oil and gas volumes yet to be found, please see the USGS Bakken Formation fact sheet. There is a table on page 4 of the fact sheet that provides 5%, 50%, 95%, and mean probabilities of oil, gas, and natural gas liquids. For production information, check with the North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources, Oil and Gas Division, and/or the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, Board of Oil and Gas Conservation.
A slideshow about the 2013 USGS Assessment includes historical drilling and production as well as information about recent dramatic increases in drilling and production.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (not part of the USGS) has a time-lapse map that does a great job of showing the rapid growth of drilling and production of oil in the Bakken Formation area over the last few years.
Learn more: USGS National Oil and Gas Assessment (choose Williston Basin in the map to see all available documents and links).