Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Alaska's North Slope Holds 3.6 Bn Barrels Oil

January 23, 2020

Image: USGS

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) department estimated that Alaska's Central North Slope 3.6 billion barrels of oil. Assessment also included estimate for 8.9 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

This assessment does not include discoveries made by industry between 2013 and 2017.

“Alaska is synonymous with energy, and this assessment just reinforces that,” said USGS Director Jim Reilly. “The State of Alaska and its industry partners have responsibly produced billions of barrels of oil from Prudhoe Bay, and we think there are still billions more in this region that can be produced.”

The assessment consists of six assessment units that range from significant oil resources to significant natural gas resources. Although the USGS assessed this region in 2005, increases in geologic knowledge and understanding of the rocks and resource potential allowed the USGS to focus more specifically on the six assessment units included in this estimate.

Alaska’s Central North Slope has long been known to be rich in oil and gas resources. The assessment area hosts most of the producing oil and gas fields in Arctic Alaska, and the 800-mile-long Trans-Alaska Pipeline spans most of the region.

Undiscovered resources are those that have been estimated to exist based on geology and other data, but have not yet been proven to exist by drilling or other means. Technically recoverable resources are those that can be produced using today’s standard industry practices and technology. This is different from reserves, which are those quantities of oil and gas that are currently profitable to produce.

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