Image: U.S. GovernmentThe National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska (NPRA) is a piece of land owned by the United States federal government located west of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). While it gets less press than ANWR, it is another target of the “Drill, Baby, Drill” crowd. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has just released a revised estimate on the amount of “undiscovered” oil and gas that is likely to be found in the area, and let’s just say that it is a cold shower for fans of more drilling in Alaska.
The U.S. Geological Survey estimates 896 million barrels of conventional, undiscovered oil and 53 trillion cubic feet of conventional, undiscovered non-associated gas within the NPRA and adjacent state waters. The estimated volume of undiscovered oil is significantly lower than in 2002, when the USGS estimated there was 10.6 billion barrels of oil. The new estimate, roughly 10 percent of the 2002 estimate, is due primarily to the incorporation of new data from recent exploration drilling revealing gas occurrence rather than oil in much of the NPRA.
Considering that the world consumption of oil has been hovering at around 85 million barrels per day, and the U.S. represents about a quarter of that, there’s only enough oil in the NPRA to fuel the world for about 10-12 days, or the U.S. for about 45 days.
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