U S Domestic Production

Offshore Production

Offshore Drilling Debate

  • Legislation that would remove the ban on offshore drilling is now being debated in Congress (9/17/2008)
  • The area involved is a band between 50 and 100 miles out, along the East and West coasts.
  • These are areas that may contain a little oil, but are not areas where geological evidence would suggest that a significant amount of oil is likely to be available.
  • Some oil industry representatives question the effect of the proposals, citing federal studies that show that more than 80% of known oil reserves are inside the 50-mile limit and therefore unavailable.

Impacts of Increased Access to Oil and Natural Gas Resources in the Lower 48 Federal Outer Continental Shelf (EIA)

  • The projections in the OCS access case indicate that access to the Pacific, Atlantic, and eastern Gulf regions would not have a significant impact on domestic crude oil and natural gas production or prices before 2030.
  • Leasing would begin no sooner than 2012, and production would not be expected to start before 2017.
  • Total domestic production of crude oil from 2012 through 2030 in the OCS access case is projected to be 1.6 percent higher than in the reference case, and 3 percent higher in 2030 alone, at 5.6 million barrels per day. For the lower 48 OCS, annual crude oil production in 2030 is projected to be 7 percent higher—2.4 million barrels per day in the OCS access case compared with 2.2 million barrels per day in the reference case.
  • Although a significant volume of undiscovered, technically recoverable oil and natural gas resources is added in the OCS access case, conversion of those resources to production would require both time and money. In addition, the average field size in the Pacific and Atlantic regions tends to be smaller than the average in the Gulf of Mexico, implying that a significant portion of the additional resource would not be economically attractive to develop at the reference case prices.
  • Similarly, lower 48 natural gas production is not projected to increase substantially by 2030 as a result of increased access to the OCS.

Analysis of Crude Oil Production in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (EIA)

  • In the AEO2008 reference case, U.S. conventional crude oil production grows from 5.1 million barrels per day in 2006 to a peak of 6.3 million barrels per day in 2018, and then declines to 5.6 million barrels per day in 2030.
  • In the AEO2008 reference case, Alaska crude oil production (without ANWR) declines from 741,000 barrels per day in 2006 to about 520,000 barrels per day in 2014.
  • After 2014, Alaska oil production increases due to the discovery and development of new offshore oil fields that are expected to be found off the Alaska North Slope.16 These new fields raise Alaska oil production to about 700,000 barrels per day in 2020. After 2020, Alaska oil production declines to about 300,000 barrels per day in 2030.
  • Consequently, ANWR oil production is not projected to have a large impact on world oil prices.

Proven oil reserves in the United States are 21 billion barrels (3.3×10^9 m3), excluding the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

The United States is the world's 3rd largest oil producer, the largest oil producer in the western hemisphere, producing about as much oil as all South American countries combined, and it now only has 20% of its oil left.

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