Thursday, November 23, 2006

The Oil Under ANWR

Permanent Wilderness Area Near ANWR

Many people seem to think that tapping the ANWR oil reserves in northern Alaska will solve our dependence on foreign oil. The Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (1980) established the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). In section 1002 of that act, Congress deferred a decision regarding future management of the 1.5 million acre coastal plain ("1002 area") in recognition of the area’s potential oil and gas resources and its importance as wildlife habitat. The debate is about this 1002 area of ANWR.

Consider these facts.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration Net Oil Imports amount to 12 million barrels per day.

According to the U.S. Department of the Interior, ANWR area 1002 at its peak will produce 1.4 million barrels per day, that’s only 11.6% of imports.

It will take at least 5 years to get ANWR up to peak production.
In 5 years the 11.6% will go well below 10% because imports will increase with demand.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), total recoverable oil in ANWR area 1002 is 7.7 billion barrels. The U S currently uses 7.5 billion barrels per year. If we could remove all the oil from ANWR area 1002 today it would only last the U. S. one year.