"North Dakota and Montana have an estimated 3.0 to 4.3 billion barrels of undiscovered, technically recoverable oil in an area known as the Bakken Formation.
"A U.S. Geological Survey assessment, released April 10 , shows a 25-fold increase in the amount of oil that can be recovered compared to the agency's 1995 estimate of 151 million barrels of oil.
"New geologic models applied to the Bakken Formation, advances in drilling and production technologies, and recent oil discoveries have resulted in these substantially larger technically recoverable oil volumes. About 105 million barrels of oil were produced from the Bakken Formation by the end of 2007. ...
"The Bakken Formation estimate is larger than all other current USGS oil assessments of the lower 48 states and is the largest "continuous" oil accumulation ever assessed by the USGS. A "continuous" oil accumulation means that the oil resource is dispersed throughout a geologic formation rather than existing as discrete, localized occurrences. The next largest "continuous" oil accumulation in the U.S. is in the Austin Chalk of Texas and Louisiana, with an undiscovered estimate of 1.0 billions of barrels of technically recoverable oil.
"It is clear that the Bakken formation contains a significant amount of oil - the question is how much of that oil is recoverable using today's technology?" said Senator Byron Dorgan, of North Dakota. "To get an answer to this important question, I requested that the U.S. Geological Survey complete this study, which will provide an up-to-date estimate on the amount of technically recoverable oil resources in the Bakken Shale formation."
"The USGS estimate of 3.0 to 4.3 billion barrels of technically recoverable oil has a mean value of 3.65 billion barrels."
Now check this out:
"The host said to Forbes, "I am going to Ask you a direct question and I would like a direct answer; how much oil Does the U.S. Have in the ground?" Forbes did not miss a beat, he said, "more than all the Middle East put together."
But for goodness sake, don't pick your own basil!