An Overview of US Hydrocarbon Supply and the Possible Impact of New Alaskan Reserves

in Peak Oil by

Abstract for
INTERNATIONAL WORKSHOP ON OIL DEPLETION
Uppsala, Sweden, May 23-25, 2002
Organized by Uppsala University and ASPO, the Association for the Study of Peak Oil

An Overview of US Hydrocarbon Supply
and the Possible Impact of New Alaskan Reserves
by Jeremy Gilbert (Formerly Chief Petroleum Engineer, BP)

The paper will summarize the historical record of hydrocarbon discovery in the United States and emphasize that for conventional oil both discovery and production rates have peaked. Comments will be made on the situation relating to gas discovery and production. The significance of the discovery of the major Alaskan fields at Prudhoe Bay and Kuparuk will be discussed and the history of Prudhoe Bay, in particular, will be used to assess the potential for new technology to bring about reserves growth in existing fields. The potential of the essentially unexplored Alaskan National Wildlife Reserve (ANWR) to counteract in the declines in production from the Lower 48 states will be assessed. It will be concluded that the US has no possibility of being self-sufficient in oil supply without radical cuts being made in oil demand.

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