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Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Drilling for Oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

George Bush said recently that drilling ANWR would increase our domestic energy supply and help lower gasoline prices and utility bills.

I'm not so sure about that. Let’s do the math, shall we?

The first lease sales will not be issued until 2007, followed by development seven to 10 years later.

This puts it in the realm of 2014-2017 when USA demand is projected to be 40% higher at 29.4 mbpd with about 80 percent of the increase expected in fuel use for transportation. ANWR can only produce and deliver via the Alaskan pipeline approximately 1 mbpd as the 2 mbpd pipeline is running about half full ( 908 thousand barrels per day) with Prudhoe Bay oil. Depletion of the oil resource base in the North Slope, NPR-A, and southern Alaska oil fields is expected to lead to a decline in the State’s total production to about 610,000 barrels per day in 2025.

An EIA analysis projects that if drilling were allowed in ANWR, production would start 10 years later and reach 900,000 barrels per day in 2025 if the area contains the mean level of resources (10.4 billion barrels) estimated by the U.S. Geological Survey.

In the EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook 2005 with Projections to 2025, released in January 2005, they estimated that lower 48 production would not drop until after 2009, and then it would be from 5.4 mbpd to 4.1 mbpd in 2025. 5.4 mbpd was the total USA production at the end of 2004.

Factoring in oil prices, they projected total USA production from high world oil prices at 5.2 mbpd, and at low world oil price, 4.5 mbpd in 2025. And average of about 4.9 mbpd.

Current total USA crude oil production is a little over 4 mbpd, down from 5.4 mbpd in August, 2005. Much of this drop can obviously be attributed to the hurricane damage.

1 mbpd is a little over 3% of projected US oil consumption in 2019. Not only will it not lower gasoline prices, I doubt it will even offset domestic decline, much less increase supply.

43 minutes of oil supply per day is the bottom line.

And now a tiny band of moderate House Republicans stands in the way.

Republicans? What is the world coming to?


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JD said...

Good post Monte. We disagree about lots of things, but drilling ANWR isn't one of them. Glad to see you speaking out on the issue. :-)

Monte L. Myers said...

Thanks, JD! ;-)

For those of you who don't know, JD is trying to be my nemesis, so if he agrees with me, you can take it to the bank.LOL!