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Bakken oil and gas put under microscope

June 7, 2013 at 6:34 AM

BILLINGS, Mont., June 7 (UPI) -- The U.S. government said it was taking a broad-based look at how best to make it easier to develop oil and natural gas resources in northern Plains states.

The Interior Department said an interagency group met this week in Montana to explore ways to facilitate the development of the Bakken oil and natural gas formation, which underlies territory in Montana, North Dakota and parts of Canada.

The group examined a range of options to help encourage Bakken development, including adding more employment options and addressing permit complexity.

Neil Kornze, deputy director of the Interior Department's Bureau of Land Management, said a multiparty approach was the best way to deal with Bakken development.

"The BLM wants to get this right," he said in a statement Thursday.

The Bakken reserve area is associated with the Williston Basin, which includes the Three Forks Formation. The U.S. Geological Survey estimates the area contains as much as 7.4 billion barrels of oil and 6.7 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

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