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An interesting question – but gas from all Bakken and Three Forks wells is not the same. Similarly, wells throughout the Williston Basin that target and produce from the Bakken Oil System produce gas of different components and make up. Why is this important?
Let’s first talk about the Bakken Oil System. The Bakken Oil System is comprised of both the Bakken and Three Forks formations. To break this down a little further, the Bakken formation is made up of the three main rock subunits: Upper Bakken Shale, Middle Bakken, and Lower Bakken Shale. The formation immediately beneath the Bakken is the Three Forks formation. Although the Three Forks is a separate formation – it has some similar rock characteristics as the Bakken and more specifically, the Middle Bakken. The Three Forks is thinly laminated sequence of dolomites and shale with some varying amounts of siltstones, sandstones, clays, and other rock types present. This rock has characteristics like the Middle Bakken, making both rock units the reservoir or storage part of the formations. The Upper Bakken Shale and the Lower Bakken Shale are primarily the source of the hydrocarbons.