The importance of Alaskan oil to the U.S.

The recent terrorist events have highlighted to an even greater extent than before the critically important need for America to utilise oil from the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWF) in Alaska. Energy analysts contend that it would be irresponsible not to utilise that resource in order to lessen America’s dependence on oil imports from Arab countries.

  • The U.S. Geological Survey states that there is a 95 percent probability that at least 5.7 billion barrels of oil can be recovered from Alaska's ANWR – but it has also estimated that figure at 10.3 billion barrels, and others put it as high as 16 billion barrels.

  • America currently consumes about 20 million barrels a day – with about one-quarter of that being supplied by OPEC.

  • At peak production, ANWR could supply almost one-tenth of America’s needs – and it could cut its OPEC dependence by more than one-third, based on today's numbers.

  • Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham believes "average estimates" of ANWR's reserves indicate there's enough oil there "to replace oil imports from the Persian Gulf region for 10 years; or from Iraq for 50 years."

    Utilizing this resource would affect only about 12,000 of the wildlife refuge's 19 million acres.

    Stated another way, the area being considered for drilling constitutes only 0.00003 percent of the State of Alaska.

    Source: Editorial, ANWR's Answers, Investor's Business Daily, October 22, 2001.
    For more on Energy

    Note: See Using foreign oil is not a problem, another of this week’s Policy Bulletins, for an alternative view.

    FMF\30 October 2001
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