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Bakken Petroleum: The Substance of Energy Independence

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The Bakken shale formation underlying North Dakota, Montana, and Canada is a large unconventional petroleum and natural gas resource . As of April 2014, North Dakota crude oil production surpassed 1 million barrels per day (MMbbl/d) representing a substantial contribution towards potential North American energy independence. According to the Energy Information Administrati The Bakken shale formation underlying North Dakota, Montana, and Canada is a large unconventional petroleum and natural gas resource . As of April 2014, North Dakota crude oil production surpassed 1 million barrels per day (MMbbl/d) representing a substantial contribution towards potential North American energy independence. According to the Energy Information Administration's (EIA's) Annual Energy Outlook for 2014, U.S. crude oil production will peak over the next decade at around 9.6 MMbbl/d, an output of approximately 3.1 MMbbl/d above the 2012 U.S. production levels. The United States currently satisfies approximately 66% of its demand for crude oil from North American resources. Due to increased production, insufficient pipeline capacity, and challenges associated with siting new pipelines, a substantial amount of the petroleum produced in the Bakken region is shipped by rail. In light of recent derailments, including accidents in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, and Casselton, North Dakota, Bakken petroleum shipped by rail has drawn increased scrutiny.


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The Bakken shale formation underlying North Dakota, Montana, and Canada is a large unconventional petroleum and natural gas resource . As of April 2014, North Dakota crude oil production surpassed 1 million barrels per day (MMbbl/d) representing a substantial contribution towards potential North American energy independence. According to the Energy Information Administrati The Bakken shale formation underlying North Dakota, Montana, and Canada is a large unconventional petroleum and natural gas resource . As of April 2014, North Dakota crude oil production surpassed 1 million barrels per day (MMbbl/d) representing a substantial contribution towards potential North American energy independence. According to the Energy Information Administration's (EIA's) Annual Energy Outlook for 2014, U.S. crude oil production will peak over the next decade at around 9.6 MMbbl/d, an output of approximately 3.1 MMbbl/d above the 2012 U.S. production levels. The United States currently satisfies approximately 66% of its demand for crude oil from North American resources. Due to increased production, insufficient pipeline capacity, and challenges associated with siting new pipelines, a substantial amount of the petroleum produced in the Bakken region is shipped by rail. In light of recent derailments, including accidents in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, and Casselton, North Dakota, Bakken petroleum shipped by rail has drawn increased scrutiny.

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