Bakken of the Williston Basin

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About the Course

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AAPG E-Symposium Series. The Mississippian-Devonian Bakken Petroleum System of the Williston Basin is characterized by low-porosity and permeability reservoirs, organic-rich source rocks, and regional hydrocarbon charge. Previous workers have described significant Bakken source rock potential and estimates of oil generated from the petroleum system range from 10 to 400 billion barrels. The USGS (2008) mean technologically recoverable resource estimates for the Bakken Formation are 3.65 billion barrels of oil, 1.85 trillion cubic ft of associated/dissolved natural gas, and 148 million barrels of natural gas liquids.

You will learn:

  • the Bakken Petroleum system
  • Bakken source beds
  • Horizontal drilling and multi-stage fracture stimulations that are applied to both the Bakken and upper Three Forks
  • An estimate of recoverable oil from the petroleum system

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Your Instructor


Steve Sonnenberg, PhD, AAPG
Steve Sonnenberg, PhD, AAPG
Stephen A., Sonnenberg is a Professor and holds the Charles Boettcher Distinguished Chair in Petroleum Geology at the Colorado School of Mines. He specializes in unconventional reservoirs, sequence stratigraphy, tectonic influence on sedimentation, and petroleum geology. A native of Billings, Montana, Sonnenberg received BS and MS degrees in geology from Texas A&M University and a Ph.D. degree in geology from the Colorado School of Mines. He has over twenty-five years experience in the industry. Steve has served as President of several organizations including the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, Rocky Mountain Association of Geologists, and Colorado Scientific Society. He also served on the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission from 1997-2003 and was the Chair of the Commission from 1999-2003. He is the recipient of the Young Alumnus Award, Outstanding Alumnus Award, and Mines Medal from the Colorado School of Mines, Distinguished Achievement Medal from Texas A&M University, distinguished service awards from AAPG and RMAG, and honorary membership awards from AAPG, RMAG and the Colorado Scientific Society.

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