The fact is we’re sitting on enough oil to be energy independent for the next 50 years (see below).
So while you guys are riding your bikes waiting on your proton packs … personally I’d like some diesel to put in my truck. Drill now please.
Congress’ Crude Squeeze
By INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Thursday, June 12, 2008 4:20 PM PT
Energy: Oil is selling as if the world is running out of crude. It’s not. In this country alone there is at least 118 billion barrels of recoverable but untapped oil, a bit more than Iraq’s estimated reserves.
IBD Series: Breaking The Back Of High Oil
That 118 billion barrels is an estimate made by the American Petroleum Institute using data from the Bureau of Land Management and the Minerals Management Service. Data compiled by Richard Watson, BLM’s lead scientist, from those same federal agencies boost the estimate to 215 billion barrels.
Compare that with Saudi Arabia, known as the world’s richest oil nation, which is judged to hold 262 billion barrels.
What makes these U.S. calculations even more promising is that neither considers the full potential of the Bakken Formation, located in the Williston Basin that stretches through Montana, North Dakota and Saskatchewan.
The latest forecast indicates that there are 3.7 billion barrels of oil that are recoverable from the Bakken Formation. However, there is much more liquid crude there. The speculation begins at 500 billion barrels and goes as high as 2 trillion barrels. Most of it is hard to reach, though. Trapped between and below two miles of shale, it is difficult to recover at today’s prices with today’s technologies.
But extraction technology advancements ï¿½?? the estimates of recoverable oil in the Bakken formation went from 151 million barrels in 1995 to 3.7 billion barrels a day due to breakthrough technology ï¿½?? and the rising cost of oil increase the amount of crude that’s available.
The biggest obstacle to putting more domestic oil in the pipeline is not economics or tech hurdles, though. It is the pro-OPEC, Democratic-majority, maddeningly irrational U.S. Congress. Oil companies, whose investments in the Bakken Formation have been stranded, are hamstrung by a congressional moratorium on developing oil shale fields on federal lands, where much of the crude is found.
But that’s not the only potential supply that Washington has placed off-limits. Congress is blocking development of oil fields in:
ï¿½?ï¿½ Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The range of recoverable oil in ANWR runs from 10 billion barrels to nearly 20 billion.
ï¿½?ï¿½ Alaska’s outer continental shelf. There might be 30 billion barrels there.
ï¿½?ï¿½ The lower 48 outer continental shelf. Watson estimates there are 86 billion barrels of crude in the Gulf of Mexico to which access is federally restricted. There’s as much as another 4 billion to 10.3 billion barrels on the Atlantic coast, 11 billion to 13.8 billion on the Pacific coast.
ï¿½?ï¿½ The Green River Formation. Shale oil in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming is different from what’s in the Bakken Formation in that the oil is trapped in the rock itself, not in between and beneath it. A Rand Corporation study says the Green River Formation holds 1.2 trillion to 1.8 trillion barrels of crude.
The average American paying $4 or more for a gallon of gasoline isn’t aware that this nation holds more oil than what is estimated to be available in Saudi Arabia, Iraq (112.5 billion barrels), Iran (89.7 billion), the United Arab Emirates (97.8 billion), Kuwait (96.5 billion) and Venezuela (80 billion).
So that average American is likely to blame Big Oil rather than the real culprits: Congress and the Clinton administration.
The latter vetoed in 1995 a bill that would have opened ANWR to drilling, effectively shutting down a source of crude that would have reached the market by now and had a salutary effect on prices as well as cut into our dependence on foreign crude.
The former obstinately refuses to do anything to increase domestic output, instead resorting to show trial hearings with oil executives and threats to tax the energy industry as if it were levying a monetary fine on criminal behavior.
If the U.S. is to relieve its energy headaches, change is needed in Washington. But not the kind of change that Sen. Barack Obama and his love-struck devotees are demanding. That would just make the problems worse.