Arctic's oil could meet world demand for 3 years - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-23-2008, 11:31 PM Thread Starter
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Arctic's oil could meet world demand for 3 years

Arctic's oil could meet world demand for 3 years
By Tom Doggett
Wed Jul 23, 5:41 PM ET


The Arctic Circle holds an estimated 90 billion barrels of recoverable oil, enough supply to meet current world demand for almost three years, the U.S. Geological Survey forecast on Wednesday.

The forecast comes as Russia is competing with Canada, Denmark, Norway and the United States to grab a chunk of the huge energy resources in the Arctic, an area growing more accessible due to global warming melting the ice.

The government agency also said the area could contain 1,670 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of natural gas.

"Before we can make decisions about our future use of oil and gas and related decisions about protecting endangered species, native communities and the health of our planet, we need to know what's out there," said USGS Director Mark Myers.

"With this assessment, we're providing the same information to everyone in the world so that the global community can make those difficult decisions," he said.

Frank O'Donnell, president of the nonprofit group Clean Air Watch, said not only do polar bears and other wildlife within the Arctic Circle face losing their habitat due to global warming, they would be hurt by companies searching for oil.

"On the one hand you may see this region more accessible (for getting energy supplies), but we're definitely going to pay a different kind of price...you may loose species," O'Donnell said. "The oil industry goes up there and industrializes what has been a pristine area...suddenly it becomes the new Houston."

The 90 billion barrels of oil expected to be in the Arctic could meet current world oil demand of 86.4 million barrels a day for almost three years.

But the Arctic's oil is not intended to replace all the supplies in the rest of world. It would last much longer by boosting available supplies and possibly reducing U.S. reliance on imported crude in the future, if America developed the resources.

The Arctic accounts for about 13 percent of the world's undiscovered oil, 30 percent of the undiscovered natural gas and 20 percent of the undiscovered natural gas liquids, the agency said in the first publicly available petroleum resource estimate of the entire area north of the Arctic Circle.

More than half of the undiscovered oil resources are estimated to occur in just three geologic provinces: Arctic Alaska (30 billion barrels), the Amerasia Basin (9.7 billion barrels) and the East Greenland Rift Basins (8.9 billion barrels).

More than 70 percent of the undiscovered natural gas is likely to be in three provinces: the West Siberian Basin (651 Tcf), the East Barents Basins (318 Tcf) and Arctic Alaska (221 Tcf), the USGS said.

Technically recoverable resources are those energy supplies that can be put into the market using currently available technology and industry practices.

The USGS said it did not consider economic factors, such as the effects of permanent sea ice or water depths, in its assessment of undiscovered oil and gas resources.

Energy companies have already found more than 400 oil and gas fields north of the Arctic Circle.

The discovered fields account for approximately 40 billion barrels of oil, more than 1,100 Tcf of gas and 8.5 billion barrels of natural gas liquids.

"Nevertheless, the Arctic, especially offshore, is essentially unexplored with respect to petroleum," the USGS said.

(Editing by David Gregorio)

Copyright © 2008 Reuters Limited.
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-23-2008, 11:35 PM
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Drill, Drill Drill! Our freedoms are at stake
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-24-2008, 12:20 AM Thread Starter
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Drill, Drill Drill! Our freedoms are at stake
Three years doesn't sound all that much though.
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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-24-2008, 01:21 AM
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-24-2008, 03:12 AM
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Very interesting.

I watched a show last night about north sea oil and the experts (and oil companies) are almost certain that there is enough oil to serve the UK for at least 40 years.

Commentators on the show estimated that it was probably twice that, as oil companies are normally very conservative in their production estimates.

With improvements in drilling technology oil fields that were no longer viable, are now.
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-24-2008, 05:33 AM
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Until a field is in production, any estimate is little more than a guess. Even when a field is in production it is difficult to estimate the reservoir volume.

Those estimates of XXX Days or XXX years of production are f-ing stupid anyway. If you look at ANY oil field (except Middle East!), none of them have long life spans when computed in that fashion. The key to stable, long-term production and stable prices (in addition to alternative energy sources) is multiple sources. A thousand fields, each with a 1 year supply is how many years of production, total? What if we reduce that to 50 fields?

Multiple sources also decreases the power of cartels and megalomaniacs.

The biggest problems we are facing right now have to do with George Bush trying to bring more and more power into the executive branch and not go through Congress at all and thats what I intend to reverse.

~ Senator Barack H. Obama
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-24-2008, 10:14 AM
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A commitment by the U.S. to drill on those 2000 acres--out of the 20,000,000 acres in ANWR--would have an instant effect on the price of oil and gas w/out regard to knowing the actual potential of ANWR. As the President said recently, it would change the whole world psychology. And it would--speaking as a psychologist...

Don't believe everything you think
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-24-2008, 10:27 AM
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A commitment by the U.S. to drill on those 2000 acres--out of the 20,000,000 acres in ANWR--would have an instant effect on the price of oil and gas w/out regard to knowing the actual potential of ANWR. As the President said recently, it would change the whole world psychology. And it would--speaking as a psychologist...


That was not a "real" Degree in Psychology that Tony the Tiger sent you for 50 cents and the 6 box tops.............
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-24-2008, 10:28 AM
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A commitment by the U.S. to drill on those 2000 acres--out of the 20,000,000 acres in ANWR--would have an instant effect on the price of oil and gas w/out regard to knowing the actual potential of ANWR. As the President said recently, it would change the whole world psychology. And it would--speaking as a psychologist...
Yes it would, fluff works
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-24-2008, 10:29 AM
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Arctic May Hold 90 Billion Barrels of Oil, U.S. Says



July 23 (Bloomberg) -- The Arctic may hold 90 billion barrels of oil, more than all the known reserves of Nigeria, Kazakhstan and Mexico combined, and enough to supply U.S. demand for 12 years, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

One-third of the undiscovered oil is in Alaskan territory, the agency found in a study released today. By contrast, a geologic formation beneath the North Pole claimed by Russian scientists last year probably holds just 1.2 percent of the Arctic's crude, the U.S. report showed.

Energy producers such as Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Chevron Corp. have accelerated exploration of the northernmost regions for untapped reserves amid record prices and receding access to deposits in more hospitable climates. Russia's move to scrap a United Nations convention and carve out an exclusive Arctic zone sparked protests from Canada, the U.S., Norway and Denmark.

``Most of the Arctic, especially offshore, is essentially unexplored with respect to petroleum,'' Donald Gautier, the project chief for the assessment, said in the report. ``The extensive Arctic continental shelves may constitute the geographically largest unexplored prospective area for petroleum remaining on Earth.''

Russia dispatched a nuclear-powered icebreaker to the Arctic Ocean last year to map a subsea link between Siberia and the North Pole as part of a bid to refute a UN convention limiting resource claims beyond 200 miles (321 kilometers) offshore. Canada said earlier this month that it plans to counter the Russian overture with ``a very strong claim'' to Arctic exploration rights.

Bloomberg.com: Canada

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