Alaska's OCS could produce 10 billion barrels of oil, 15 trillion cubic feet of gas - study

Source: American Petroleum Institute

A new study, showing important advantages to the U.S. economy and energy security, highlights the tremendous domestic energy resources waiting to be developed in Alaska’s outer continental shelf (OCS). These resources are a vital link to America’s future, according to the oil and natural gas industry. 

“America will need all forms of energy to get our economy back on track, and that includes oil – we can either produce it here and create more American jobs or import it and create jobs elsewhere,” said Richard Ranger, a senior policy advisor at API. “The administration and Congress need to adopt an ‘all of the above’ energy approach that leverages our offshore resources in Alaska to create an energy plan for America that boosts, rather than inhibits, our economy.” 

The development of oil and gas resources in Alaska’s OCS could produce almost 10 billion barrels of oil and 15 trillion cubic feet of natural gas – creating an annual average of almost 55,000 new jobs and $145 billion in new payroll nationally, as well as a total of $193 billion in government revenue through the year 2057 – according to a new study by Northern Economics and the Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER) at the University of Alaska. 

The study found that the Alaska OCS holds the potential to make Alaska the eighth largest oil resource province in the world, ahead of Nigeria, Libya, Russia and Norway. About 77 percent of world oil reserves are owned or controlled by national governments and the U.S. currently imports over 60 percent of its crude oil. Northern Economics estimates that Arctic offshore development could cut this by about 9 percent over 35 years. 

“Given the current political turmoil in the Middle East and increased demand from a slowly growing economy, it is more essential now than ever before that we develop Alaska’s OCS to increase domestic production,” Ranger said. “Increased OCS production in Alaska would also extend the operating life of the 800-mile Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS), a critical lifeline of domestic energy for America,” he added. 

API represents more than 450 oil and natural gas companies, leaders of a technology-driven industry that supplies most of America’s energy, supports more than 9.2 million U.S. jobs and 7.5 percent of the U.S. economy, and, since 2000, has invested nearly $2 trillion in U.S. capital projects to advance all forms of energy, including alternatives.



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