To provide context, the US used about 20M barrels a day in 2007 - and if the Bakken Formation alone has 100-400B barrels, the development of this technology is incredibly significant - especially if you factor in what the similar technology of shale gas has done to the price of natural gas where the US has a significant overabundance of natural gas now.

Adding to its promise is that this new type of unconventional oil involves a renewal of mature oil fields, many located outside politically risky places like the Middle East, where only a fraction of the oil has been recovered using old drilling methods.

Those on the leading edge of unlocking the world’s next Bakkens are enthusiastic about this new/old global oil source.

“There is absolutely huge interest from companies throughout the world that are looking for alternative sources of energy,” said Dan Themig, president of Packers Plus, the Calgary-based private company that pioneered the technology’s implementation in North America. It is now building operations in China, Argentina, Brazil, across North Africa, Romania, Russia, the U.K. and Norway.

“Certainly fracturing for oil will eventually be just every bit as big as fracturing in natural gas,” he said. “Almost every major oil basin, including Saudi Arabia, will utilize this technology to enhance recovery and revitalize some declining fields and possibly arrest the decline for a number of years.” Mr. Themig, an engineer, co-founded Packers Plus in 2001 with Peter Krabben and Ken Paltzat. [...]

Geological studies estimate the ultimate hydrocarbon potential of the Bakken Formation is between 100-billion to 400-billion barrels. Saskatchewan’s share of the resource could range from 25-billion to 100-billion barrels.