Three components of the play were examined:
- Presence of reservoir as indicated by correlating and mapping reservoir units in a detailed study area.
- The presence of hydrocarbons was determined from examining offset production and shows, and relating these accumulations to the vicinity of mature Bakken source rocks and potential migration pathways for oil.
- The presence of a trap, either an unconventional resource trap (implying an in-situ source within a closed system) or conventional, stratigraphic or structural trap (normally-pressured oil over water) was evaluated from a combination of the hydrogeology examined over a large area of Montana and Saskatchewan and the stratigraphic and structural mapping in the detailed area. Shale resistivity measurements for the Bakken were also used to supplement this analysis in the detailed area.