Three Forks Group
|Three Forks Group
Stratigraphic range: Famennian to Tournaisian
|Sub-units||Bakken Formation, Lyleton Formation, Big Valley Formation, Torquay Formation|
|Thickness||35 metres (110 ft) to 80 metres (260 ft)|
|Primary||Dolomite, mudstone, shale|
|Region||Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin, Williston Basin|
|Named for||Three Forks, Montana|
|Named by||A.C. Peale, 1893|
Oil produced from the Three Forks Formation in the Williston Basin of North Dakota and south-eastern Saskatchewan is often included in production statistics with the overlying Bakken Formation. For instance, the Three Forks and Bakken were combined in estimates of potential production released by the United States Geological Survey on April 30, 2013. The estimate by the USGS projects that 7.4 billion barrels of oil can be recovered from the Bakken and Three Forks formations and 6.7 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 530 million barrels of natural gas liquids using current technology.
The Three Forks Group reaches a maximum thickness of 80 metres (260 ft), but can be as thin as 35 metres (110 ft).
|Bakken Formation||Kinderhookian||bituminous shale||40 m (130 ft)|||
|Lyleton Formation||Famennian||red dolomitic and silty shale, argillaceous dolomite||40 m (130 ft)|||
|Big Valley Formation||Famennian||mudstone||40 m (130 ft)|||
|Torquay Formation||Famennian||brown dolomite, shale||65 m (210 ft)|||
Relationship to other units
- Lexicon of Canadian Geologic Units. "Three Forks Group". Retrieved 2010-01-01.
- Peale, A.C., 1893. The Paleozoic section in the vicinity of Three Forks, Montana. U.S G.S., Bull. 110, p. 9-56.
- US Geological Survey, Three Forks, accessed 6 Jan. 2013.
- Lenny Bernstein (April 30, 2013). "Northern plains site has twice as much oil as previously thought, Interior says". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 1, 2013.
The doubling of the estimate resulted largely because of the first look at the Three Forks Formation in North Dakota, which the Geological Survey said contains 3.73 billion barrels of oil. Its reassessment of the Bakken Formation, which lies above Three Forks, showed 3.65 billion barrels, only a little more than a 2008 USGS estimate. The agency’s conclusion that the formations contain 6.7 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 530 million barrels of natural gas liquids represented a tripling of previous estimates.
- Stephanie B. Gaswirth; Kristen R. Marra; Troy A. Cook; Ronald R. Charpentier; Donald L. Gautier; Debra K. Higley; Timothy R. Klett; Michael D. Lewan; Paul G. Lillis; Christopher J. Schenk; Marilyn E. Tennyson; Katherine J. Whidden. "National Assessment of Oil and Gas Fact Sheet Assessment of Undiscovered Oil Resources in the Bakken and Three Forks Formations, Williston Basin Province, Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota, 2013" (PDF). Fact Sheet 2013–3013. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved May 1, 2013.
Using a geology-based assessment methodology, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated mean undiscovered volumes of 7.4 billion barrels of oil, 6.7 trillion cubic feet of associated/dissolved natural gas, and 0.53 billion barrels of natural gas liquids in the Bakken and Three Forks Formations in the Williston Basin Province of Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota.
- Lexicon of Canadian Geologic Units. "Bakken Formation". Retrieved 2010-01-03.
- Lexicon of Canadian Geologic Units. "Lyleton Formation". Retrieved 2010-01-03.
- Lexicon of Canadian Geologic Units. "Big Valley Formation". Retrieved 2010-01-03.
- Lexicon of Canadian Geologic Units. "Torquay Formation". Retrieved 2010-01-03.