The animated map above is from the EIA and shows the growth in Bakken shale production of oil and gas from 1985-2010. It’s interesting that most of the early increases in Bakken production (1998-2006) were in Montana (Elm Coulee Oil Field), and not the North Dakota Bakken. It wasn’t until about 2008 that production exploded in the North Dakota Bakken following the discovery of the Parshall Oil Field. From the EIA:
“The animation highlights that drilling activity in the Bakken has been focused mainly on crude oil and natural gas liquids (generally the green and yellow dots). The larger circles indicate higher productivity wells; these are mostly horizontal wells. Bakken production, which averaged just over 2 thousand bbl/d in 2000, averaged more than 260 thousand bbl/d in 2010; horizontal wells accounted for nearly 90% of total 2010 volumes.”
MP: Note that since 2010, the number of producing oil wells in the Bakken has more than doubled from 1,593 in May 2010 to 3,983 in May 2012, so there would be a lot more green and yellow dots on the map if it was updated through 2012.