SOUTHLAKE, Texas, May 13, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- NORSTRA ENERGY INC. WWW.NORSTRAENERGY.COM (OTCQB:NORX) ("Norstra" or the "Company") received a major boost to its South Sun River Bakken Project in Montana when the US Geological Survey (USGS) announced last week that they were doubling the reserve estimate for the Bakken and Three Forks Formation in Montana, North- and South Dakota. The USGS stated that the formations could contain an "estimated 7.4 billion barrels of undiscovered, technically recoverable oil." That's double the original 2008 estimate of 3.65 billion barrels. The USGS also considers the Bakken and Three Forks to be the largest continuous oil formation in the continental United States. This is the same oil formation that Norstra is targeting on their lease holdings. Norstra would like to refer to the USGS publication for the precise regional coverage of the new Bakken and Three Forks estimates in comparison to their own lease holdings.
Dr. Don Van Nieuwenhuise, head of the geosciences program at the University of Houston, said the USGS numbers are conservative and based on looking at "sweet spots" within the formation. "There are chances there are sweet spots they don't know about. The prospects of finding additional sweet spots in an area this size is relatively high," he said. "I'm pretty sure every drop they say you're going to find, you'll find."
John Harju, associate director for research with the Energy and Environmental Research Center at the University of North Dakota, said he views the USGS figure as the lower limit of the amount of oil that will be recoverable from the Williston Basin. "Like any of these USGS estimates, think of them as a milemarker that's well behind you in the rearview mirror… What this doesn't even begin to recognize is the increase in technology that we're going to see, " said Harju.
Also, Continental Resources, the largest leaseholder in the Bakken region, believes the USGS estimate to be quite modest. "The USGS generally is very conservative in their estimates," Harold Hamm, Chairman and CEO of Continental, told NewsOK. In 2010, Continental Resources estimated that the Bakken field contains roughly 24 billion barrels of technically recoverable oil out of 577 billion barrels of total oil in place. In 2012, Continental boosted its total oil estimate by 56 percent, to 903 BBO, but has yet to revise its recoverable estimates.
Norstra is currently reviewing existing technical data and is highly encouraged by the new reserve estimate. In an interview with the Fairfield Sun Times Mr. Landry, the CEO & President of Norstra Energy Inc., went into more detail about the project. Landry explained one of the reasons that Norstra is targeting the well known Bakken System, "Exxon, Arco, Oxy, Shell and others were targeting below the Bakken in the 1980s. We have potential there, but deeper exploration would be more of a 'wildcat'. We are targeting the Bakken with a known blanket target with far less risk." Landry, a geologist with ties to this area went on to explain the nature of the Bakken System along the Eastern Slope of the Rockies, "If the Bakken is a fractured zone then we have a higher risk play. Any oil migration thru a fractured play runs a risk of flushing. Migrating oil may easily be flushed or trapped but is a far greater risk than the resource play that we have. The Bakken is a source rock. We feel the oil remained in place within the thrust sheets because of the high resistivity present on the logs and the gas kicks where we have mudlogs."
Landry said that other formations holding oil potential are a result of migration and are at risk of flushing. "A true resource play is oil sealed in place. The high resistivity of the Krone and Steinback wells says the oil is in place, hence a true resource play. The target zone should be overpressured. A successful horizontal Bakken will have no fractures and we will make our own fractures within the middle member."
The recent Fairfield Times article is available in its entirety below:
The release from the US Geological Survey is available in its entirety below:
This press release contains "forward-looking statements." Statements in this press release which are not purely historical are forward-looking statements and include any statements regarding beliefs, plans, expectations or intentions regarding the future, and specifically references to the timing of exploration and drilling work on the South Sun River Prospect as well as the resource estimates of the Bakken and Three Forks formation as well as the company's prospect. The reader can identify these forward-looking statements by forward-looking words such as "may," "will," "expect," "potential," "anticipate," "forecast," "believe," "estimate," "project," "plan," "continue" or similar words. The reader should read statements that contain these words carefully because they discuss future expectations, contain projections of future results of operations or of financial condition, or state other forward-looking information. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding potential oil production, revenues, expansion efforts, and future plans and objectives of Norstra Energy Inc. The risk factors listed in our disclosure documents and the cautionary language on the Company's website provide examples of risks, uncertainties and events that may cause actual results to differ materially from the expectations and projections described by Norstra in its forward-looking statements. Actual results relating to, among other things, oil reserves, production, revenues and profitability could differ materially from those currently anticipated in such statements. Factors affecting forward-looking statements include: results of exploration activities, ability to secure operations staff and equipment; changes in the operating costs; changes in economic conditions, foreign exchange and other financial markets; changes of the interest rates on borrowings; in the investments levels; litigation; legislation; environmental, judicial, regulatory, political and competitive developments in areas in which Norstra operates; technological, mechanical and operational difficulties encountered in connection with Norstra's development activities; and labor relation matters and costs. The reader should refer to the risk disclosures set out in the periodic reports and other disclosure documents filed by Norstra from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission and other regulatory authorities.
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