The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Energizing Montana

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted September 6, 2016

The Williston Basin of Montana and North Dakota is one of America’s greatest oil repositories. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the basin’s Bakken and Three Forks formations could produce 7.4 billion barrels of crude oil.

big_skyClick on the thumbnail to open a two-page energy infographic for Big Sky Country.

Montana also is coal-rich. EIA estimates that one-fourth of the nation’s recoverable coal reserves are in Montana, and it produces more than 4 percent of U.S. coal. Not surprisingly, 55 percent of the state’s net electricity generation is fueled by coal. EIA says Montanans use about half the electricity the state generates, with the rest sent to other western states.

On the infrastructure side, Montana has four oil refineries, mostly processing crude from Canada – our No. 1 source of imported oil – and Wyoming. Its Baker/Cedar Creek field is the nation’s largest single underground natural gas storage facility, EIA reports.

Back to the Bakken: Thanks to it, Montana is a leading energy producer in an energy nation – one that leads the world in oil and natural gas output. America’s ongoing energy renaissance is largely due to private energy investment and development – in the Bakken and other energy-rich fields.

Pro-development policies are needed to sustain and grow U.S. energy production, continuing the benefits of energy abundance: jobs, economic growth, household savings and greater energy security. Page 2 of the infographic includes a chart that illustrates the benefits of a pro-development path, contrasted with the negative impacts of policies characterized by regulatory constraints.

 Energy is essential for virtually every aspect of our daily lives. It powers national, state and local economies, gets us to work and goes into products we rely on for health and comfort. Safe, responsible energy development here at home is linked to national security as well as Americans’ individual prosperity and liberty – in Montana and all the 50 states of energy.   


Mark Green joins API after spending 16 years as national editorial writer in the Washington Bureau of The Oklahoman newspaper. In all, he has been a reporter and editor for more than 30 years, including six years as sports editor at The Washington Times. He lives in Occoquan, Virginia, with his wife Pamela. Mark graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a degree in journalism and earned a masters in journalism and public affairs at American University. He's currently working on a masters in history at George Mason University, where he also teaches as an adjunct professor in the Communication Department.