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Assessment of undiscovered oil and gas resources of the Williston Basin Province of North Dakota, Montana, and South Dakota, 2010

February 15, 2012

Using a geology-based assessment method, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated mean undiscovered volumes of 3.8 billion barrels of undiscovered oil, 3.7 trillion cubic feet of associated/dissolved natural gas, and 0.2 billion barrels of undiscovered natural gas liquids in the Williston Basin Province, North Dakota, Montana, and South Dakota. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) recently completed a comprehensive oil and gas assessment of the Williston Basin, which encompasses more than 90 million acres in parts of North Dakota, eastern Montana, and northern South Dakota. The assessment is based on the geologic elements of each total petroleum system (TPS) defined in the province, including hydrocarbon source rocks (source-rock maturation, hydrocarbon generation, and migration), reservoir rocks (sequence stratigraphy and petrophysical properties), and hydrocarbon traps (trap formation and timing). Using this geologic framework, the USGS defined 11 TPS and 19 Assessment Units (AU).