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Press Photo by Dustin Monke A North Dakota state flag waves in the wind from the floor of a drilling rig southwest of Belfield on April 22.

Report more than doubles recoverable oil estimate for Williston Basin


WILLISTON -- The U.S. Geological Survey said Tuesday the Williston Basin has between 4.4 billion and 11.4 billion barrels of oil that is recoverable with today's technology.

Although the figure is more than double what the survey said in 2008, geologists and industry leaders said Tuesday the estimate is conservative and will only get bigger as technology advances. The survey is the first by the USGS to include the Three Forks Formation as well as the Bakken Formation.

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Amy Dalrymple

Amy Dalrymple is a Forum News Service reporter stationed in the Oil Patch. She can be reached at or (701) 580-6890.