Federal scientists say the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska contains less than one-tenth of the volume of oil than was previously estimated.
The U.S. Geological Survey says new data puts the new estimate at 896 million barrels of oil, compared to the agency’s 2002 mean estimate of 10.6 billion barrels.
The USGS also has cut its estimates of natural gas in the sprawling reserve, from a mean of 61 trillion cubic feet to 53 trillion cubic feet.
The agency’s 2002 estimates ranged from 5.9 billion to 13.2 billion barrels for oil and 39 trillion to 83 trillion cubic feet for natural gas.
The USGS says its new numbers are based on factors including seismic surveys and drilling of more than 30 exploration wells.
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