Update on USGS Arctic Oil Report

USGS Arctic Oil & Gas Regions

USGS Arctic Oil & Gas Regions (from USGS)

I’ve posted a couple times (here and here) on a USGS report on estimated Arctic oil and gas resources.  The USGS report estimated that the Arctic regions represented 13 percent of undiscovered oil, 30 percent of undiscovered natural gas and 20 percent of undiscovered natural gas liquids, with about 84 percent of the resource occurring offshore.  Now the Barents Observer is disputing the USGS claims.  Reporting from 33rd International Geological Congress in Oslo, the Barents Observer quotes a Mr. Paul Nadeau of StatoilHydro as saying that the USGS numbers are 2-4 times too high.

-[…] we believe their numbers are too high. That does not matter for the oil companies, but we might end up fooling our governments, Mr. Nadeau said.

Donald Gautier of the USGS, project leader of the assessment, defended his numbers.  Of 25 Arctic geological provinces studied, 17 were judged to have a significant petroleum potential (i.e. one or more accumulations with at least 50 million barrels o.e.).

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