The Arctic may contain as much as a fifth of the world’s yet to-be-discovered oil and natural gas reserves, the United States Geological Survey said Wednesday as it unveiled the largest-ever survey of petroleum resources north of the Arctic Circle.
Oil companies have long suspected that the Arctic contained substantial energy resources, and have been spending billions recently to get their hands on tracts for exploration. As melting ice caps have opened up prospects that were once considered too harsh to explore, a race has begun among Arctic nations, including the United States, Russia, and Canada, for control of these resources.
The geological agency’s survey largely vindicates the rising interest. It suggests that most of the yet-to-be found resources are not under the North Pole but much closer to shore, in regions that are not subject to territorial dispute.
Here's the stupid part:
The assessment, which took four years, found that the Arctic may hold as much as 90 billion barrels of undiscovered oil reserves, and 1,670 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. This would amount to 13 percent of the world’s total undiscovered oil and about 30 percent of the undiscovered natural gas.
At today’s consumption rate of 86 million barrels a day, the potential oil in the Arctic could meet global demand for almost three years. The Arctic’s potential natural gas resources are three times bigger. That equals Russia’s proven gas reserves, which is the world’s largest.
The NY Times stoops to do long division for its readers. 90 billion bbls divided by global demand of 86 million bbl a day comes to about 1,046 days or a little under three years. True, but also irrelevant.
Arctic oil estimates could supply the global market for three years BY ITSELF. What's the Times doesn't bother to focus on is how much marginal supply the Arctic could add. Oil prices have tripled in large part because overall demand has edged over overall supply thanks to a variety of factors. How about some division that makes sense? If the Arctic supplies an additional 3 million bbls a day at the margin then those 90 billion barrels are going to last about 82 years! Three million additional barrels a day would go a long, long way towards relieving price stress. And this would be US produced crude which means pretty damn likely we'd have first dibs on it.
The Left however will recycle their anti-ANWR arguments and say why are we disturbing the pristine (sic) wilderness for just three years worth of oil. Stupid analysis by the Times, who are probably not alone, simply buttress that.