Speaking of that Naval Petroleum Reserve-Alaska

By July 16, 2008Energy

We’ve had a couple of posts this week (here and here) about the Naval Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, an area that all of a sudden had struck some usually energy-shy members of Congress as just a splendid place to drill, since it’s not ANWR… and since it’s not on the Outer Continental Shelf…and perhaps since it’s all tied up in litigation…and it might not even be profitable, so they won’t drill anyway.

Wonder if this news will prompt a shift in the shifting…

From the Bureau of Land Management:

In a Record of Decision issued today, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced that it will make land available for oil and gas leasing in the northeast portion of the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska (NPR-A).

“This action sets the stage for a major lease sale this fall. This is welcome news at a time when Americans are paying record prices at the pump,” said C. Stephen Allred, Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals, in signing the ROD.
At the same lease sale, the BLM also plans to offer land in the northwest portion of the NPR-A.
“The rapid increase in energy costs facing our nation is driven by a worldwide imbalance in energy supply and demand,” Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne said. “Developing the NPR-A in an environmentally sound manner will contribute to our domestic oil and natural gas supplies. Together with new production from other offshore and onshore areas, these increased supplies will help stabilize energy costs.”
The lands made available for leasing under plans for NPR-A northeast and northwest could result in a much as 8.4 billion barrels of oil being developed. The lands could also provide trillions of cubic feet of natural gas for shipment to North American markets through gas pipelines currently in the planning stages.
As this chart from a 2007 DOE study of Alaskan energy resources demonstrates, NPR-A is nowhere near as promising as ANWR: NPRA has a potential of 281,600 barrels of recoverable oil per square mile, versus 3.5 million barrels for square mile of ANWR.
But the philosophy around here is: All kinds of energy, from anywhere you can get it, and new technology makes so many more sources of energy affordable and environmentally responsible. Renewable fuels, coal, nuclear power, wind, natural gas — we need it all, along with increased conservation and efficiency.
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