Arctic Resources

The United States (U.S.) Geological Survey began a study in 2008 that estimated that the Arctic contained undiscovered, technically recoverable resources equivalent to 90 billion barrels (Bbbl) of oil, 1,669 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, and 44 Bbbl of natural gas liquids. The study was the largest public hydrocarbon resource appraisal conducted in the Arctic and it took four years to complete. The study solidified the growing consensus that the Arctic was the last great frontier for international oil companies (IOCs) to develop new hydrocarbon resources. At that time the Arctic was estimated to account for 22 percent of the world’s total undiscovered, technically recoverable resources.The article discussed how world oil and natural gas consumption is expected to grow over the next several decades. One issue that oil companies were forced to confront was the lack of infrastructure in the region. All supplies were required to be shipped in via barges because of the short drilling season and lack of infrastructure. The ice-free drilling seas only lasted four months. Limited access to “easy oil” has driven oil companies like look for frontier resources that required significant capital investments and technical expertise. The U.S. federal government has worked to improve its regulatory and response framework to facilitate safe, effective, and environmentally responsible exploitation of U.S. natural resources on behalf of the American people.


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  • Accession Number: 01609797
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 31 2016 8:46AM