Q&A: Update on oil production in North Dakota

Oil production in North Dakota

What is the status of our tapping into the vast oil field discovered in 1951 in North Dakota?

Amerada Corp.'s well struck oil on April 4, 1951, on a wheat farm in northwestern North Dakota. The oil patch has produced about 1.85 billion barrels of oil, according to the Associated Press.

The AP reported that North Dakota records show at least twice the amount that has been produced remains untapped in the Bakken shale formation, which is in North Dakota and Montana, and the Three Forks formation below it. The AP reported that Bakken production of crude oil had been 13 million barrels until 2004 but has jumped to 191 million barrels since then.

"The Bakken shale has been the biggest producer of crude in recent years, due to advances in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing techniques," according to the AP story.

The AP wrote that the U.S. Geological Survey in 2008 estimated that current technology could recover up to 4.3 billion barrels of oil from the Bakken in North Dakota, which is the nation's No. 4 oil-producing state, and Montana. About 2,000 of North Dakota's 5,300 productive oil wells have come on line in the past three years, aimed at the Bakken and Three Forks.

Bridge in ad is in Japan

The American Express advertisements in newspapers and magazines show a beautiful pedestrian bridge in a wooded area. Can you tell me where this picture was taken?

It is Kintai Bridge in Iwakuni City, in the Yamaguchi Prefecture in the western part of Japan, according to an American Express representative.

The bridge, widely considered one of the most beautiful in Japan, has five wooden arches that cross the Nishiki River. It's about 660 feet long and 17 feet wide. Each arch is about 22 feet high and reinforced only by metal straps and clamps. Four stone-walled islands were built to support the spans. The name means gold brocade sash.

It was first built in 1673 by Hiroyoshi Yoshikawa, the third lord of the Iwakuni Clan, to connect his castle to the town. It has been washed away by typhoons several times, and the latest renovations were completed in 2004.

Tokyo Disneyland shut 5 weeks

How did Tokyo Disneyland fare during March's earthquake and its aftermath?

Tokyo Disneyland reopened April 15 after being closed for five weeks. Disneyland is part of the Tokyo Disney Resort, which also includes the water theme park DisneySea, two hotels and a shopping mall. The parks have about 25.8 million annual visitors.

The downtime at Disneyland contributed to a decline of 1 percent in quarterly profits for the Walt Disney Co., according to a spokesperson.

Q&A: Update on oil production in North Dakota 05/15/11 [Last modified: Sunday, May 15, 2011 5:30am]

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