Continental Resources, a U.S. producer focused on the Northern Plains, said about 1,000 barrels of oil flowed during a one-day test at its Charlotte 3-22H well in western North Dakota. The company said it was able to exploit the reserve using a 30-stage fracture stimulation technique in the northern shale play.
Continental said the 1,280-acre suit was the first in the play to yield production from three distinct horizons in the Bakken formation.
The company in 2010 said technology then suggested Bakken could yield about 24 billion barrels of oil equivalent. New developments in the play, however, have prompted it to raise its 2010 estimate 57 percent.
"This could be a real game-changer," Harold Hamm, chairman and chief executive officer at Continental, said in a statement.
Oil production in North Dakota has increased every year for the past four years. Much of the production is from the Bakken formation. The boom has overwhelmed existing transport infrastructure, prompting some companies to look to rail for Bakken oil deliveries.