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Production of Natural Gas in the Bakken Continues to Grow

March 5, 2012

BISMARCK, N.D. - As the production of oil in the Bakken Shale formation continues to grow, so does the extraction of natural gas. Chris McGill with the American Gas Association says the same technologies that went into developing natural gas resources in the mid-continent, along the Gulf Coast and in the eastern United States are now being applied to the Bakken.

"The door has been opened. So, now we are getting not only oil production at a much higher level in the Bakken Shale, but with that comes associated gas. So, there is an infrastructure that's being developed to move the gas also, along with the liquids that are being produced there."

McGill says that, compared to such other forms of fuel as oil and coal, natural gas is more environmentally-friendly and efficient.

Natural gas comprises almost one-fourth of all energy used in the U.S., but McGill says there's still a large opportunity for growth.

"That's what we want the country to look at. The extraordinary opportunity, no heroic assumptions, to move natural gas into our energy economy even more than it is today."

The Bakken Shale is estimated to hold about 2 trillion cubic feet of gas, but that's just a tiny fraction compared to the country as a whole, which holds around 2,000 trillion cubic feet, equaling about 100 years of supply.

More details are at www.aga.org.

John Michaelson, Public News Service - ND