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The Bakken Formation is currently regarded primarily as a self-contained, unconventional petroleum system. While previously viewed as a source for oil occurring in overlying formations, it is now predicted that resources of more than 3.5 billion barrels of oil are trapped intraformationally. New insights into the formation's open v. closed nature are presented here using the physical properties of natural petroleum, source rock characteristics and the numerical modelling of phase behaviour. In the mature western part of the basin petroleum accumulations have been postulated to be continuous in nature, characterized by very short migration distances of indigenous hydrocarbons. This...

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