Steve Heimel, APRN – Anchorage
Federal scientists say it looks as if there is a lot less oil in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska than they had earlier estimated. The U.S. Geological Survey bases this on both better geological information and the fact that exploratory wells are finding gas rather than oil. Its new report drops the recoverable oil estimate in NPRA to 500 million barrels – assuming a crude oil price of $90 a barrel. The last report, back in 2003, estimated recoverable oil in a range between 5.9 and 13.2 billion barrels. The new report only counts the amount of oil that would be found in the process of drilling for natural gas, which is now estimated at 18 trillion cubic feet, if the price was $8 per thousand cubic feet. The USGS’s gas estimate for NPRA is down slightly from that of eight years ago.
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