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Energy Tomorrow Blog

A Decade Later, Still Waiting on ANWR’s Oil

offshore drilling  energy policy  domestic energy  anwr  access  onshore drilling 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted February 22, 2012

Remember how opponents of greater access to U.S. oil and natural gas resources scoffed at the idea of developing reserves in remotest Alaska, saying the oil would take 10 years to come online and therefore wouldn’t help crude supplies in the Lower 48?

Guess what: We’re there. It’s 10 years later, and those reserves in Alaska are still waiting to be tapped – even as Washington enters another round of finger-pointing over energy.

Here’s an indisputable point: If access to an airport-sized swatch of the 19-million-acre Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) had been granted a decade ago, a million barrels of oil per day could be part of America’s supply equation instead of an academic debating point.

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Graphically Speaking: Producing Oil Offshore

permits  offshore drilling  gulf of mexico 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted January 25, 2012

Yesterday, we looked at the time it takes to produce oil on federal lands, now let’s look at offshore.  As you can see from the chart below, just like on land, it takes time.  In general, from purchase of the lease to first production can take anywhere from 7 to 10 years in areas that have existing infrastructure. In this context, the timeline for OCS exploration and production can include:

  • Six months to a year for MMS administration and execution of lease sales in unleased areas.
  • One year for preliminary geological investigation and selection of areas of interest for additional seismic data acquisition.
  • One year to two years to acquire and to process 3D (and new wide azimuth) seismic data, and to identify drillable prospects from this data.

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An Illogical Decision, Not An Arbitrary Deadline

permits  oil sands  offshore resources  offshore drilling  keystone xl  energy policy  access 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted January 19, 2012

In announcing his rejection of the Keystone XL permit, President Obama said:

"This announcement is not a judgment on the merits of the pipeline, but the arbitrary nature of a deadline that prevented the State Department from gathering the information necessary to approve the project and protect the American people. I'm disappointed that Republicans in Congress forced this decision, but it does not change my Administration’s commitment to American-made energy that creates jobs and reduces our dependence on oil."

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Study: Effects of Gulf Drilling Policies Detailed

permits  offshore drilling  moratorium  gulf of mexico  access 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted January 11, 2012

Policies have consequences. Certainly, we’ve seen economic impact in the 2010 decision to halt deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and the subsequent slow pace of oil and natural gas permitting. A new study released by API underscores this:

The effects of the deepwater drilling moratorium and subsequent permit slowdown have already reduced total capital and operating expenditures in the Gulf of Mexico by a combined $18.3 billion for 2010 and 2011 relative to pre‐moratorium plans. Since April 2010, eleven deepwater drilling rigs have left the Gulf of Mexico. These rigs have gone to countries such as Brazil, Egypt and Angola. Through 2015, the investment in other regions instead of the U.S. associated with these rigs is estimated to be over $21.4 billion including drilling spending and associated project equipment orders, even accounting for the portion of equipment that will likely be manufactured in the United States. As a result of decreases in investment due to the moratorium, total U.S. employment is estimated to have been reduced by 72,000 jobs in 2010 and approximately 90,000 jobs in 2011.

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