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  • How Oil is Produced

    Drilling & Production

    It takes about six weeks to drill, hydraulically fracture and complete a typical well, but the work begins long before a well is ever “spud,” and a producing well will continue working for North Dakota much longer thereafter. Read more about how the process works, from the initial lease to production to the plugging and…

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    Hydraulic Fracking

    For more than 60 years, hydraulic fracturing has been an important technology in increasing recovery of our precious petroleum resources. The technology was first used in the Williston Basin in 2008 and it, along with horizontal drilling, helped unlock the Bakken and make it one of the largest proven reserves in the world. Hydraulic fracturing, or…

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    Horizontal Drilling

    In addition to hydraulic fracturing technology, horizontal drilling (also called directional drilling) has made it possible for producers to access more of the oil in shale formations while disturbing less land on the surface. To do this, companies use state of the art technology to drill down thousands of feet to what is called the…

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    About the Resource

    The Bakken Formation was first formally described in 1953 by geologist J.W. Nordquist. He used samples from a well in Williams County, the H.O. Bakken #1 well, named for the surface owner, Henry Bakken. Today, Henry Bakken’s name is synonymous with one of the country’s biggest oil reserves. While the history of oil production in…

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