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!
Colorado River's connection with the ocean was a punctuated affair
16.11.2017 | University of Oregon
Researchers create largest, longest multiphysics earthquake simulation to date
14.11.2017 | Gauss Centre for Supercomputing
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...
Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
30.10.2017 | Event News
17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine
17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses