Thank you for inserting the links to Snopes, I find that site to be pretty reliable in sorting out the fact and fiction, and for the USGeological Survey report.
It turns out the article, while partially true, is grossly exaggerated.
1. The original article came from a tout sheet (http://web.archive.org/web/20060423192820/http://www.stansberryonline.com/OIL/20060405-OIL-COL.asp) to get you to subscribe to an investment magazine.
2. The article says there are 271 to 503 billion barrels of potential resources. The 2008 USGS report actual estimates only 3.0 to 4.3 billion barrels, http://www.usgs.gov/newsroom/article.asp?ID=1911, a mean value of 3.65 billion barrels.
3. That’s still a lot of oil, but the US imports about 10 million barrels a day. 3.65 billion barrels is only 1 year of US imports, even if ALL the oil was extracted. Not quite the 41 years claimed in the article.
4. A 2005 study describes most of it being in shale oil which has a lot of obstacles to production, “for example shale development requires large expenditures of water and energy, produces air pollution and carbon emissions and leaves toxic byproducts that could endanger the environment. No work has been done on the impacts of development and ways to mitigate these impacts.”
The snopes explanation is a good read at http://www.snopes.com/politics/gasoline/bakken.asp.