Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Reuters Strikes Again

Reuters gets “millions” confused with “billions” and the U.S. Department of the Interior gets “upper bound” confused with “the midpoint”.

Is it any wonder that so many Americans are confused?

Reuters inaccurately reported (emphasis mine):

“The U.S. Interior Department said on Monday it will propose regulations on Tuesday to establish a commercial oil shale program that could result in up to 800 million barrels of recoverable oil on public lands in western United States.”

The press release which the “journalist” apparently drew her “information” from inaccurately reported (emphasis mine):

“On Tuesday, July 22, 2008, Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne will announce proposed regulations to establish a commercial oil shale program that could result in the addition of up to 800 billion barrels of recoverable oil from public lands in the western United States”

But, quoting this source (emphasis mine):

“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.”

I am 99.99% certain this is the report which the DOI drew its information from.

It’s not “up to 800 million”. And, it’s not “up to 800 billion”. It’s up to “1.1 trillion”. The MEAN ESTIMATE is 800 billion!

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