14 MAY 2022 WorldWide Drilling Resource® More than 11,000 wells have been drilled in the basin since 2013, resulting in both more production and more knowledge of the basin’s resources. This assessment is focused on areas where less drilling has occurred and less is known about potential resources. “The USGS assessment is of undiscovered resources; in other words, it’s a sciencebased estimate of what may be discovered in the basin, in the future,” explained Ryker. “It’s different from, and complementary to, industry production numbers, which focus on the known or discovered resource. Our research focuses on areas of uncertainty.” This assessment will also assist with efforts to better understand interactions and dependencies between energy resources and water resources. In 2016, the USGS conducted an assessment of the water and proppant requirements and water production associated with potential future production of undiscovered gas and oil resources in the Williston Basin's Three Forks and Bakken Formations. In addition, the USGS has published geochemical data from water samples taken during hydraulic fracturing of unconventional oil wells in the Bakken and Three Forks Formations. This assessment was conducted based on a peer-reviewed, publicly available methodology used for all USGS gas and oil assessments. This allows an apples-toapples comparison for USGS assessments across the country and over time. The USGS is the only provider of publicly available estimates of undiscovered, technically recoverable, gas and oil resources, defined as: Conventional resources are those which have collected into discrete accumulations, are buoyant by nature, and can be extracted using traditional techniques. These contrast with continuous resources, which are spread throughout a rock layer across large areas of a petroleum basin and typically require enhanced recovery techniques such as hydraulic fracturing. Technically recoverable resources are those which can be produced using today’s standard industry practices and technology. These are different than economic reserves, which are quantities of gas and oil that can be produced profitably. Undiscovered resources are those estimated to exist based on geologic, geophysical, and geochemical information for the assessed rock layers. Undiscovered resources are contrasted with proven reserves, which are quantities of gas and oil confirmed to exist via drilling and production. USGS / Williston continued from page 12.