Don’t Be Such a Prudhoe
American oil supplies well past peak
America’s domestic oil supplies are tapping out. At Alaska’s massive Prudhoe Bay field, output has dropped nearly 75 percent since 1987 highs. With mega-developing nations India and China gobbling up the world’s spare oil supply and U.S. demand still rising, engineers are now going after poorer grades of oil once considered uneconomical. But that gunky stuff, even combined with the few promising untapped domestic sources (see: Arctic National Wildlife Refuge), won’t make up the difference. The oil industry has seen this coming for a while: “They told us years ago, ‘Eventually you’re going to hit this point where things are declining,’ and they are,” a BP manager said of Prudhoe. Maybe they should tell a certain former oilman of our acquaintance, who seems to have hinged both domestic energy policy and national security policy on finding enough U.S. oil to cut our dependence on foreign sources.
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