Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

USGS Economic Analysis Updated for the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska (NPRA)

05.05.2011
The U.S. Geological Survey assessment on the economic recoverability of undiscovered, conventional oil and gas resources within the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska (NPRA) and adjacent state waters is now available online.

This economic analysis is based on a 2010 USGS resource assessment that determined how much undiscovered, conventional oil and gas in the NPRA is technically recoverable. These reports provide updates from the USGS 2003 economic analysis and 2002 resource assessment of the NPRA.

“The USGS conducts assessment updates to re-evaluate petroleum potential as new data and information become available,” said USGS Energy Resources Program Coordinator Brenda Pierce. “Understanding how much undiscovered, technically recoverable resource might be present serves as a basis for calculating how much might be economically developed.”

Technically recoverable resources are those that could be potentially produced using current technology and industry practices. Economically recoverable resources are those that can be sold at a price that covers the costs of discovery, development, production and transportation to the market.

The new economic analysis estimates that approximately 273 million barrels of undiscovered oil are economically recoverable at an oil price of $72 per barrel (comparable to $8 per thousand cubic feet of gas). About 500 million barrels of undiscovered oil are economically recoverable at $90 per barrel (comparable to $10 per thousand cubic feet of gas). These estimates do not include the discovered oil accumulations in northeastern NPRA that have not yet been developed.

The economically recoverable oil estimates above are dependent upon gas exploration in the NPRA, meaning that it is assumed the oil would be found in the process of looking primarily for gas.

The USGS assessment also found that about 18 trillion cubic feet of undiscovered gas are economically recoverable when the market price is $8 or more per thousand cubic feet, and 32 trillion cubic feet of undiscovered gas would be economic when the market price is $10 or more per thousand cubic feet.

There currently is no pipeline in place to transport gas from the North Slope of Alaska, so this assessment assumes that there is a 10- or 20-year delay between discovery and production in the NPRA. This analysis shows that if a pipeline is constructed, there is a significant amount of gas that is economically recoverable from the NPRA when prices are above $8 per thousand cubic feet of gas.

The different market prices quoted above for the same resource are because some resource accumulations are relatively easy to find and produce while others are not and therefore cost more.

“USGS estimates are based on 2010 costs and technology, and these results could change over time as they are dependent on multiple factors,” said USGS scientist Emil Attanasi, who was the lead author for this assessment. “For example, USGS economic recoverability estimates could vary in the future depending on the timeframe and costs to construct a gas pipeline to the NPRA, technological advances that make resource extraction and development easier and less expensive, and fluctuating market prices for oil and gas.”

The amount of oil that could be economically developed is significantly less than what the 2003 analysis concluded. One reason for the reduction is reduced volumes of technically recoverable oil based on recent NPRA exploration drilling which found gas rather than oil.

All of the cited resource estimates are based on the mean undiscovered resources.

Listen to a podcast interview with USGS scientists on this assessment.

To learn more about this or the geologic assessment, please visit the Energy Resources Program website.

USGS provides science for a changing world. Visit USGS.gov, and follow us on Twitter @USGS and our other social media channels.

Subscribe to our news releases via e-mail, RSS or Twitter.

Jessica Robertson | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.usgs.gov

Further reports about: Alaska Analysis NPRA Petroleum USGS economic analysis market prices

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht NASA looks to solar eclipse to help understand Earth's energy system
21.07.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

nachricht Scientists shed light on carbon's descent into the deep Earth
19.07.2017 | European Synchrotron Radiation Facility

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: 3-D scanning with water

3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects

A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

Im Focus: The 1 trillion tonne iceberg

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through

A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Ultrathin device harvests electricity from human motion

24.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Scientists announce the quest for high-index materials

24.07.2017 | Materials Sciences

ADIR Project: Lasers Recover Valuable Materials

24.07.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>