By Zack Colman - 12/20/12 04:23 PM EST
Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has made extracting oil and gas from the Bakken possible.
The drilling method injects a high-pressure mixture of water, chemicals and sand into shale rock to tap hard-to-reach hydrocarbons.
Concerns exist over whether the process is safe. Green groups worry that it contaminates groundwater and releases methane into the air, though industry says those fears are unfounded.
The Obama administration has cautiously embraced fracking, while calling for regulations on the practice for drilling on federal lands. The Interior Department expects to finalize those rules next year.
The oil-and-gas industry has said the White House has kept too much federal land off limits to drilling.
While oil and gas production is higher under Obama than it was with former President George W. Bush, much of that increase has been on private and state lands.
Industry has pointed to the Bakken — which is on private land — as a success story the federal government should emulate. It contends more drilling would bring in more revenues for the federal government.