Continental Resources Inc . (NYSE: CLR) said April 28 that the Bakken in North Dakota and Montana recently produced a billion barrels of light, sweet crude. Continental is the largest producer, driller and leaseholder in the area, the company noted.

According to IHS data, the billion-barrel mark was reached in this year’s first-quarter, Continental said.

"This milestone validates the immense potential of the Bakken field and development is just beginning," said Jack Stark , Continental’s senior vice president of exploration..

He added, "Two-thirds of this oil was produced in the last three years. This is something our country can celebrate as the oil and natural gas industry continues to create jobs, grow our economy and secure America's energy future."

The Bakken might be the largest oil field discovered, worldwide, in more than 40 years, the company said, noting that field discoveries in the U.S. have been driven by advances in horizontal drilling.

Oklahoma City-based Continental Resources Inc. also operates in Oklahoma.