Sunday, August 17, 2008

Domestic Energy Potential

Latest Update (08/17/08):
New images added which update
the breakdown of the price paid at the pump.

Click here for the primary post on this topic.

Various factors can and will raise and lower the
price of gasoline in the near term and beyond.
Click the image to learn more:
Click the image to learn more

Click either of the following images to get an updated assessment:
Click the image to get an updated assessmentClick the image to get an updated assessment

By far, the most fundamental cause of recent price spikes is nothing but demand for crude oil rising faster than the supply of crude oil.

If you want real and sustainable lower gasoline prices (and natural gas prices), the only thing required is approval from Congressional Democrats to allow us to recover the tremendous energy resources in ANWR and, better yet, The Outer Continental Shelf.

No, relief will not come overnight. It will take years. But, anybody who alleges there is any other “solution” that would come any sooner is blowing smoke up your ass for the sole purpose of getting your vote.

If Democrats had not spent the last 30 years blocking every effort to produce more domestic energy of any sort (including nuclear), energy prices would not be nearly as high as they are today.

Actually, in 1995, the Congress approved drilling in ANWR, but President Clinton vetoed it. So, if you want to blame an American President for today’s gasoline prices. Blame Clinton!

We have the domestic resources. We have the means to extract and utilize those resources without any meaningful harm to the environment. The only thing we lack is the political will on the part of the Congressional Democrats to “get ‘er done”:

1) In the Outer Continental Shelf alone, MMS estimates:

"the quantity of undiscovered technically recoverable resources ranges from 66.6 to 115.3 billion barrels of oil and 326.4 to 565.9 trillion cubic feet of natural gas"

The following chart breaks down the mean estimates for the various areas of the Outer Continental Shelf. Estimates are broken out for Oil, Natural Gas and BOE (a way to measure the energy potential of the oil and gas combined):

Click the image to view the source
Click the image to view the source

2) We import from the Persian Gulf about 70 million barrels per month, or 840 million barrels per year.

Thus, at present levels of consumption, the Outer Continental Shelf alone could allow us to import zero oil from the Persian Gulf for as much as 137 years! Actually, our imports from The Persian Gulf have been steadily declining since 2001. Therefore, these potentials could likely last more than 137 years.

3) Furthermore, there is essentially no damage done to the environment by offshore drilling!

In fact, anyone who has ever gone diving on an offshore rig can tell you that marine life love offshore rigs.

4) Need we mention ANWR? Has CNN informed you that the area proposed for development totals "1/100th of one percent" of the total ANWR area:

Click the image to view the source (and a larger image)
Click the image to enlarge and view the source

Has CNN informed you that the “pristine wildlife plain” which Environmental Extremists seek to “preserve” actually looks like this:

Click the image to learn more
Click the image to learn more

Click this image & learn even more
Click this image & learn even more

Now, ANWR critics often refer to the following quote:

"Only the 1.5 million acre or 8% on the northern coast of ANWR is being considered for development. The remaining 17.5 million acres or 92% of ANWR will remain permanently closed to any kind of development. If oil is discovered, less than 2000 acres of the over 1.5 million acres of the Coastal Plain would be affected."

Yes, 1.5 million acres could be subject to initial exploration. But, once oil is discovered, only 2,000 acres would be subject to development. The entire ANWR reserve is 19.6 million acres. Therefore:

A) Less than 8% would be opened for initial exploration.

B) 1/100th of 1% would be opened for development.

5) In the near term, which is more likely to preserve our National Security during a crisis in the Middle East?

A) As yet unproven (and counterproductive) "Alternative Fuels"?

B) Tapping tremendous domestic potentials?

Sometime down the road we will no longer rely on petroleum as a principal energy source. But, in the near term, environmental extremism is a tremendous threat to National Security which offers no benefit to anybody (except, of course, those who profit by marketing Environmental Extremism).


Chris said...

A simple percentage of total land, with a cute graphic showing a tiny area the size of some state or other, is something of a mixed message.
You're not going to have the entire development bunched up together into one corner of the plain, it's going to be pockets of hazardous industry all over the place with the associated infrastructure snaking between them.

I'm not particularly defending the artic wastelands, but I feel that an argument like yours needs an actual map of proposed development to paint a true picture in the minds of the people you want to read your truth :)

juandos said...

"pockets of hazardous industry all over the place with the associated infrastructure snaking between them"...

Hazardous industry?!?!

More hazardous than walking everywhere?

sbvor said...


1) Can you substantiate any of your allegations?

2) I suggest you read this article.

Anonymous said...

Using the 2,000 acre foot-print statistic to point out and calculate how small the impact of oil production in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge would be is quite misleading. Additionally, your use of a 10-billion barrel estimate for the refuge, and the windblown ice pictures to represent the coastal-plain are equally questionable.

To begin with, I don't doubt the windblown-ice picture was taken somewhere in the Arctic Refuge, perhaps up in the Brooke's Range, but this is hardly representative of the coastal-plain, a summertime sanctuary from extremes of the far north for hundreds of species of birds, caribou, musk ox, polar bears, foxes, brown-bears and on and on. This refuge was protected by a visionary Republican President, Dwight Eisenhower for its abundant wildlife and recreational value. It’s the only area (5%) of the North Slope which is protected from oil and gas development.

I also acknowledge that the 2,000 acre foot-print impact is correct… if you ignore the numerous rock quarries and miles of roads which are not included in this figure. It is true, if you count only the square footage of the concrete piers which would, after construction, support all the buildings, pipelines, pumps, and other infrastructure above the now possibly permanently damaged perma-frost. This allows your 2,000 acre footprint to spread out across the entire width and depth of the coastal-plain with thousands of miles of uncounted maintenance roads and quarries following.

Your 10-billion barrel estimate comes from the latest study directed by Richard Pombo, R-CA which intentionally included thousands of square miles of the Beaufort Sea off north coast of the coastal-plain of the wildlife refuge in it’s glowing assessment of the ‘coastal-plains’ potential reserves…bogus!

And for more environmentally friendly drilling, lets look at over 420 'reported' oil spills annually associated with Prudhoe Bay just 40-miles west of the refuge. Or perhaps we should also include the small cities worth of air and water pollution exhausted daily by the Prudhoe Bay facility into what was once a very clean and healthy arctic environment?

I could go on, but I'm guessing you believe that drilling in a national wildlife refuge, and perhaps Yellowstone, and all our coastal-waters, maybe even on the National Mall or the White House lawn would alleviate our oil- addiction. We can drill, purge, pump, blast, bulldoze and refine tar from sand and shale, and in the end, we will still have to switch to energy alternatives.

The stone-age didn't end because we ran out of rocks. It's time for us to move forward. Tar-sands, oil-shale and the mountains and valley's covering them are finite.

sbvor said...


1) Unsubstantiated assertions count for exactly nothing, especially your rock quarry assertions.

2) I suggest that you too read this article.

Pay special attention to the part about “ice roads”.

3) According to the USGS (page 8), the ANWR 1002 area (aka the Coastal Plain) has 10.4 Billion Barrels of Oil (as a mean estimate) and 3.8 Trillion Cubic Feet of Natural Gas (as a mean estimate).

Yours was a pathetically typical smear job attempt. I suppose your next pathetic attempt at a smear job will be to assert that the USGS is part of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy.

Dan said...

I've been trying to analyze the affect on price if we did drill in ANWR... I mean world supply is around 85 million barrels per day. If we did drill in ANWR it would take time but I think we could add 1 million barrels per day. That'd be an increase of 1.16%. With the price elasticity of oil would that increase in supply even make a difference?

JazzSlave said...


If a miracle happened & we decided to ramp up domestic drilling ASAP (not just ANWR, but offshore as well), it would probably be a decade before the additional supply had an impact on the $ at the pump. One has to be able to refine the crude, and the American Socialist left (along with their willing accomplices in the GOP) has seen to it that we haven't built a single refinery in over 30 years.


You're missed back in the sandbox.

sbvor said...


I may return to the sandbox one day.

But, if I do, I will build my presentations here and merely cite them there.

Time permitting, I may eventually start a second blog dedicated to our local issues.

This is a far superior platform for presentation building. And, unlike the sand box, I actually have some First Amendment rights here (for now).

At some point, those who find censorship the only means of protecting and perpetuating their ideology of mythology would surely see to it that I was “disappeared” once again from the sand box. When they do, their next book burning celebration will have deleted only the pointers to the presentations and not the presentations themselves.

I suggest you step up your own posting. You are quite good at it. You too may want to create a blog under You’re already more than half way there. And, if and when the sand box witch hunters come after you, your content will be safely out of their book burning reach.

Meantime, if you ever care to cite my pages in the sand box, feel free to do so (at the quite possible risk of being “disappeared” yourself).

P.S.) I wonder what the “Editor” of our “beloved” fish wrap thinks about “ The Recession of 2008 That Wasn’t?”.

I wonder if he has, as yet, any second thoughts about printing a “straight news” piece which opened by announcing:

“The recession of the national economy”

sbvor said...


1) The proposed 1/100th of 1% of ANWR is an important area to open up for extremely environmentally friendly drilling.

2) However, the Outer Continental Shelf is even more important.

According to the USGS (page 8), the ANWR 1002 area (aka the Coastal Plain) has 10.4 Billion Barrels of Oil (as a mean estimate) and 3.8 Trillion Cubic Feet of Natural Gas (as a mean estimate).

But, according to MMS, there are 86 billion barrels of oil and 420 trillion cubic feet of Natural Gas likely to be recovered from The Outer Continental Shelf.

3) But, it goes WAY beyond that.

4) And, even beyond that, what about Oil Shale and Oil Sands?

A) Quoting (with my own emphasis) a study by the Rand Corporation on domestic Oil Shale:

“The largest known oil shale deposits in the world are in the Green River Formation, which covers portions of Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming. Estimates of the oil resource in place within the Green River Formation range from 1.5 to 1.8 trillion barrels. Not all resources in place are recoverable. For potentially recoverable oil shale resources, we roughly derive an upper bound of 1.1 trillion barrels of oil and a lower bound of about 500 billion barrels. For policy planning purposes, it is enough to know that any amount in this range is very high. For example, the midpoint in our estimate range, 800 billion barrels, is more than triple the proven oil reserves of Saudi Arabia. Present U.S. demand for petroleum products is about 20 million barrels per day. If oil shale could be used to meet a quarter of that demand, 800 billion barrels of recoverable resources would last for more than 400 years.”

B) Canada, from whom we already import oil, has tremendous reserves in the form of Oil Sands.

Just glance at this chart from this page.

And, the Canadians aren’t stupid. They’re already producing crude from their Oil Sands and selling it to us (no matter how loudly their own eco-nuts scream).

When it comes to energy, the French aren’t stupid either, they are now light years ahead of us with their Nuclear Power generators.

As for us, we’re the only ones on the entire planet stupid enough to cave in to our astonishingly destructive money grubbing eco-nuts (and their even more money hungry lawyers).

Quoting The Wall Street Journal:

“America remains the only nation in the world that has curtailed access to its own energy supplies/ Meanwhile China will soon begin drilling for oil off Cuba and in Venezuela.”

There is WAY more than ANWR to consider here. But, ANWR is a very important component.

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