How petroleum and natural gas are recovered in North Dakota:

Marathon Oil Animation of Hydraulic Fracturing: This 7-minute video explains the process of hydraulic fracturing. Video courtesy of Marathon Oil.
  • Billions of barrels of oil and natural gas are trapped in rock far below the surface of the Williston Basin.
    • For many years, oil companies knew about this supply but were unable to get the oil out.
    • In 2006, the first successful Bakken well was drilled using a new technology called hydraulic (hi-DRAW-lik) fracturing.Hydraulic fracturing is the process of using pressurized water to fracture (break) cracks in deep underground rock so that trapped petroleum can be released. Hydraulic fracturing is also called fracking.
    • Horizontal wells are drilled in order to reach the pockets of trapped oil in North Dakota.