Skip to comments.Facts About ANWR
Posted on 10/14/2001 11:06:55 PM PDT by Republican_Strategist
Fact 1 -The Coastal Plain of ANWR is America's best bet for the discovery of another giant "Prudhoe Bay-sized" oil and gas region in North America. Many economic benefits would result: - The Coastal Plain could produce up to 1.5 million barrels per day for at least 25 years - nearly 25% of current daily U.S. production. - The U.S. would save $14 billion per year in oil imports. Federal revenues would be enhanced by billions of dollars from bonus bids, lease rentals, royalties, and taxes. Estimates in 1995 on bonus bids alone were $2.6 billion.
Fact 2 -EIAs Annual Energy Outlook 2000 reference, the potential ANWR oil recovered would have a value between $125 and $350 billion.
Fact 3 -The estimates for the entire 1002 area (Coastal Plain), within this area, USGS 1998 estimates that there are between 15.6 and 42.3 billion barrels of oil in place, with a mean of 27.8 billion barrels.
Fact 4 -More than two out of three Alaskans (75%) report they support exploration on the Coastal Plain of ANWR. Annual polling conducted in by the Dittman Research Corporation demonstrated that a vast majority of Alaskans continue to support opening ANWR to oil and gas exploration.
Fact 5 -The U.S. imports over 57% of the nation's needed petroleum. These oil imports cost more than $100 billion a year. These figures are rising and could exceed 65% imports by the year 2005. ANWR production could replace imports of Saudi oil for over 30 years.
Fact 6 -A 200 day supply is almost 4 billion barrels. The Coastal Plain probably contains much more oil, but it can be produced at a maximum rate of 2 million barrels per day (capacity of the trans-Alaska oil pipeline). Therefore, it could last for 25 years, and probably much longer.
Fact 7 -ANWR. Doyon Ltd., a Native regional corporation with Gwich'in shareholders, supports ANWR development. Further, the Alaska Federation of Natives with a membership of 90,000 Alaska Natives is also in support of this issue.
Fact 8 There are no listed endangered species on the North Slope or in the coastal plain. Alaskans have always trod lightly on the land and have honored the animals as a source of sustenance.
Fact 9 -A national survey conducted by the Christian Science Monitor in October showed that Americans support oil production in the ANWR, by a 54 to 36 percent margin.
Fact 10 -City governments in Alaska support exploration and development on the Coastal Plain of ANWR. They understand the direct benefits to communities that nearly 30 years of oil and gas development on the North Slope has brought to them in the form of jobs, tax base, state funds for local roads, schools, public buildings and services. Many individuals from local governments have participated in education visits around the country.
Fact 11 -The Alaska state Legislature has in the past passed a Resolution supporting ANWR development by 60 votes to zero.
Fact 12 -The Inupiat Eskimos who live on Alaska's North Slope and the residents of Kaktovik, who live on the coastal plain itself, all support careful development there, "in their back yard", or "on their dining room table".
Fact 13 -All the major union groups such as the AFL-CIO, the Teamsters, the Maritime unions have been involved in oil development in Alaska. In recent years they have occupied at least 50% of the development jobs on the North Slope and have a good relationship with the major oil producers.
Fact 14 -Economists at the Wharton School of Econometrics in Pennsylvania have calculated that full development of the estimated reserves of oil beneath the coastal plain would generate about 735,000 jobs nation-wide in every state in America. The Unions would like to take their fair share of those jobs which would often be long term and high paying.
Fact 15 -In 1995 both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate passed legislation to open the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to careful oil and gas leasing and development. The legislation never became law because President Clinton vetoed the Budget Bill.
Fact 16 -In several public opinion polls made in 1995 Americans were almost entirely unaware of the issue surrounding oil development in ANWR. However, when they were told that development was opposed by environmentalists and the Secretary of the Interior, but supported by the government of Alaska and the vast majority of Alaskan natives, they responded 45% to 44% in favor of development. The margin of support increased to 56% in favor and 37% opposed when additional facts on the issue were provided to them. A very high majority, 74%, favored searching for domestic oil rather than importing foreign oil.
Fact 17 -No oil from the North Slope has been exported. Exports can be stopped by a Presidential order. The U.S. exports advanced technologies, much more valuable and unique than oil. Few object to that.
Fact 18 -The federal government won litigation in the Supreme Court of the United States, which allows congress to determine the share of revenues with the State of Alaska. Congress wants 50/50.
Fact 19 -Studies from 1982 to 2000 by the state of Alaska's Department of Fish and Game, and in 2000 by Yukon Territory's Renewable Resources Department, show that over those 18 years only 43 percent of the Porcupine caribou herd used the "1002" area. In 10 out of 19 years, less than 50 percent of the herd calved in the area; in four out of 19 years (1990, 1991, 1995 and 1998) a large portion of the Porcupine herd used the area for calving, but in five out of the 19 years (1982, 1986, 1987, 1988 and 2000) very few if any - calves were born in the 1002 area.
Fact 20 -It would appear that caribou are not affected by oil development on the North Slope, based on scientists observations. The Central Arctic Herd, which uses the area around Prudhoe Bay, has increased five fold in population since oil development started in the early 1970s. There are four major caribou herds in northern Alaska. Besides the Porcupine and Central Arctic herds, there is the Western Arctic Herd, which is more than twice the size of the Porcupine Herd, and the smaller Teshekpuk Lake herd. Populations of these herds rise and fall by natural cycles. Three decades of oil and gas activity in the central North Slope has had no apparent impact.
Fact 21 -The coastal plain is host to a village of about 260 Inupiat natives on their 92,000 acres of land. The village of Kaktovik has housing, schools, stores, boats, an airstrip, power lines and a variety of other modern-day facilities, including an oil well. The U.S. military's Barter Island Distant Early Warning System radar site is also on the plain's shoreline. Most of the residents of Kaktovik favor drilling.
Fact 22 -Out of Alaskas 1,500 mile Arctic shore-line, only 14 percent is open to oil and gas exploration.
Fact 23 -Refuge totals 19.6 million acres. 8 million acres designated Wilderness; Coastal Plain, 1.5 million acres, set aside by Congress for study of oil potential; Only a small percentage of Coastal Plain, about 2,000 acres, would be impacted by oil development; That is the equivalent of 1/100 of 1 percent.
Fact 24 -The bulk of the refuge, 92 percent, remains protected with half of its 19.6 million already designated as wilderness, including a section of the refuges coastal plain that abuts Canadas 3-mil-lion- acre Northern Yukon National Park.
Fact 25 -Proposals have been made to declare the 1.5 million acre section of the Coastal Plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) as Wilderness. This area, 8 percent of the refuge, was set aside by Congress in 1980 for study of its oil and gas potential.
Fact 26 -Alaskas Wilderness lands were made into one state, they would become the 11th largest in the nation, or larger than the combined areas of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland.
Fact 27 -The Alaskan State House in the past passed Senate Joint Resolution 9 by a vote of 33 to 1 urging the United States Congress to pass legislation that will open the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska, (ANWR) to oil and gas exploration, development and production.
Fact 28 -Ex. Vice President Gore has enthusiastically pressured American oil companies active involvement in oil exploration in eastern Siberia. The geography and physical conditions of that region are identical to arctic Alaska. The only difference is the regulatory protection of the environment, which, compared to Alaska, is minimal. So much for protecting Planet Earth!
Fact 29 -The Government of Canada has been equally hypocritical about oil development in the range of the Porcupine Caribou Herd. In the 1960's and 70's the Canadians leased all their land in the area to oil companies who drilled over 90 wells, some in the herd's calving area. The government also built the Dempster Highway which runs directly through the calving and migratory area. The Canadian Gwich'in have never protested any of these actions. When the drilling found no economic hydrocarbons the Government designated the area adjacent to ANWR a National Park and declared its opposition to any development on the ANWR coastal plain. At the same time Canada continues to explore offshore in the Beaufort Sea and periodically requests from Alaska information on tanker routes from the Mackenzie Delta across northern Alaska and into the Pacific! So much for responsible concern for the arctic environment.
Fact 30 -All the familiar players such as the Sierra Club, Audubon Society, National Wildlife Federation, Friends of the Earth, etc., are passionately opposed to producing oil from the coastal plain. They all raise millions of dollars with emotional appeals to save the arctic caribou, and describe the area as "the Serengeti of the North", or "the Crown Jewels of the Arctic", or "America's Last Wilderness", or "the last complete untouched arctic ecosystem". These rhetorical statements are devoid of reality and are used shamelessly to raise funds from people who usually have never been to Alaska and know little about it.
Fact 31 -The environmentalists refer to caribou as "endangered", when they know perfectly well that there are more caribou in Alaska than there are Alaskan people. Furthermore, the caribou are thriving, even those that live in the oil fields.
Fact 32 -The Gwich'in of Arctic Village are the most vocal opponents against ANWR development. They call themselves "the caribou people" and subsist off of caribou from the Porcupine Caribou Herd which migrates through ANWR and neighboring parts of Canada. About 140 Gwich'in live in Arctic Village which is 125 miles south of the coastal plain and separated from it by the Brooks Range. The Gwich'in have organized themselves into a Gwich'in Steering Committee which is a white dominated organization based in Anchorage. It represents about 15 Athabaskan Villages in Alaska and Canada. The Group is funded by environmental foundations and the Environmental Organizations.
Fact 33 -The Gwich'in of Arctic Village harvest about 350 caribou a year and the total annual native subsistence take is approximately 3000 animals. Most of those are killed in Canada and they represent a small proportion of the 160,000 Porcupine Caribou Herd.
Fact 34 -Kaktovik Inupiats who also harvest caribou and observe them on the coastal plain and believe they will not be harmed.
Fact 35 -The Gwich'in claim that drilling on the coastal plain will destroy the caribou herd because it often uses part of the coastal plain as its main birthing ground. The Gwich'in ignore the opinion of the Fact 15 - In the 1970's the Alaskan Gwich'in were fully supportive of oil exploration on their own lands through which the herd migrates. They offered leases to the oil industry covering their entire reserve area. In the early 70's Exxon carried out seismic work in the area before giving it up. In 1977 village leaders went to BP Alaska Exploration to execute an agreement for exploration and several surveys were carried out. In 1980 the Rougeot Corporation of Tulsa Oklahoma leased 1.5 million acres and paid several million dollars in lease fees. The lease agreement contained no provisions to protect the Porcupine Caribou Herd. All these ventures came to naught, but the Gwich'in were still preparing new lease maps in 1984. They argue now that exploration activity would not affect the herd, albeit they hoped for eventual production, not exploration. This position is very different from their beliefs today.
Fact 36 -There are several other reasons the coastal plain is distinct from the rest of the ANWR. It is not part of the hills and mountains of the Brooks Range, where the environmentalists take their beautiful photos of the ANWR. It is a flat, treeless, almost featureless plain in northeastern Alaska that extends from the Brooks Range northward to the Beaufort Sea. There are times on the coastal plain when exposing human flesh to the elements would ensure death. The temperature can drop to -40 degrees Fahrenheit in January. Few animals can thrive in those temperatures. Only five species of birds, some polar bears (who den on the Beaufort Sea pack ice) and lemmings (who burrow beneath the snow-pack) remain during the winter months. There are 56 days of total darkness during the year, and almost nine months of harsh winter. The caribou travel to the coastal plain from Canada, passing near 89 dry wells drilled by the Canadian government and crossing Canada's Dempster Highway--all of which seems to be development that does not hinder their migration or survival.
Fact 37 -Our only experiment with oil fields and caribou has taken place nearby on Alaska's North Slope in Prudhoe Bay. The Central Arctic caribou herd that inhabits part of Prudhoe Bay has grown from 6,000 in 1978 to 19,700 today, according to the most recent estimates by state and federal wildlife agencies.
Fact 38 -There is some evidence that the caribou use un-vegetated and elevated sites such as river bars, mud flats, dunes, gravel pads and roads in the existing oil fields as relief habitat from mosquitoes and from oestrid flies that attack their nostrils.
Fact 39 -Environmentalists also worry about the polar bear, though most biologists will tell you that the bears rarely den on land in this region, preferring the arctic ice. Alaska's polar bear population is healthy and unthreatened. The Marine Mammals Protection Act takes care of the polar bear in the existing oil fields--and would do the same on the coastal plain.
Fact 40 The protections and how they relate to oil workers...They are not allowed to harm a polar bear. There are steel cages around many of the doors of the facilities in Prudhoe. That way, workers can look off into the distance for bears before they venture out. No polar bear has been injured or killed as a result of extracting oil in Prudhoe Bay.
Fact 41 -Exploration and development is done in the harsh winter months, which allows the use of ice airstrips, ice roads and ice platforms. It is done when no caribou are present.
Fact 42 -The North Slopes petroleum industry is the cleanest, most technologically advanced and most heavily regulated in the world. Facilities are designed for minimal environmental impact.
Fact 43 -The North Slope oil fields currently provide the U.S. with nearly 25% of it's domestic production and since 1988 this production has been on the decline. Peak production was reached in 1980 of two million barrels a day, but has been declining to a current level of 1.4 million barrels a day.
Fact 44 -The presently producing oil fields at Prudhoe Bay on Alaska's North Slope have cost in excess of $50 billion to build and maintain. Of that considerable sum of money fully 85% was spent outside of Alaska for goods and services from companies all across the nation. Those expenditures have created American jobs and benefited America's economy.
Fact 45 - When Prudhoe Bay was developed in the 1970's, about 2 % of the surface area over the field, or 5,000 acres, was covered by gravel for roads and drilling and production facility sites. If Prudhoe Bay were developed today, using lessons learned since the 1960's, gravel would cover less than 2,000 acres, a 60 % reduction.
Fact 46 -Instead of building a gravel pad for exploration drilling, companies are now building temporary pads of ice, which disappear after the exploration well has been drilled. Temporary ice roads have long been used to support winter exploration drilling on the North Slope.
1) The land is a Federal Wilderness, designated so by President Eisenhower. All of your polls about the local Native Indian tribes and the State of Alaska are meaningless and inflamatory. The real point is, does the American public support it? Prior to 9/11, the answer was no. It may have changed since then.
2) The oil. I've seen so many numbers about the amount of oil present. The numbers you quoted above are the TOTAL estimated reserves. But being an engineer and having been around the oil industry, I know just how inefficient extraction can be. My guess is that only 25% of TOTAL reserves could be extracted, at best. Maybe even worse as the geological structure of the ANWR is quite different than Prudhoe Bay - the fields are more dispersed.
3) The players. Condoleeza Rice is on Chevron's Board of Directors, even had a tanker named for her prior to Bush's inauguration. Cheney of course has his fairly well known ties to Halliburton. Bush Jr and Bush Sr of course are well known to the Oil Business. Oil is one of the largest contributors of soft money to Congress
I am awfully concerned that with all of this rush, little oversight will be performed and ANWR oil will be sold for FAR less than what it is worth. Oh, I am sure some of the money will come back in terms of Congressional donations and PAC Soft Money contributions. But the taxpayer of course will still have to pony up this money. I also fear a good deal of the infrastructure and cleanup in the hands of the taxpayers. This just looks a little too much like a sweatheart deal at the moment.
4) The reference to Gore. Would love to see your link on that. The only thing I know about Gore and Siberia was where he asked the Russian OPIC (Overseas Private Investment Corporation) to spend some of the $29 billion it had received in US taxpayer investments on environmental reform. Why Congress voted for that investment I will never know.
Response to 2 -The estimates for the entire 1002 area (Coastal Plain), within this area, USGS 1998 estimates that there are between 15.6 and 42.3 billion barrels of oil in place, with a mean of 27.8 billion barrels. USGS derives the 5.7-to-16.0 billion barrel range as being recoverable using the technology of the mid-1990s. Anti-development groups often criticize use of technically recoverable resource numbers, rather than the narrower concept of economically recoverable resources. But a closer look confirms that use of the technically recoverable numbers does not overstate the resource base. Technically recoverable volumes cited in the USGS assessment are very conservative. Remember that USGS estimates assume only current technology. In this case, the agency assumes only about 37% of the oil in place can eventually be recovered. Estimated recovery from Prudhoe Bay was initially estimated to be about 35%, but the application of new technology since that time has progressed steadily, and recovery is now expected to exceed 65%. Similar experience with ANWR could raise eventual recovery well beyond the USGS estimate. For example, 65% recovery would imply a range of 10 to 27 billion barrels, with a mean of 18 billion barrels. Finally your comment about the geological structure of ANWR is something you derived from pure fantasy and isnt the way to go about backing your anti-development view.
Response to 3 Your third point was what I call irrelevant to the debate. Dont forget that Clinton administration officials like Sandy Berger were owners of Exxon stock. He didnt sell that stock even though he was told twice to do so and yet people criticized Karl Rove when he was merely waiting for the paperwork to go through. Then you have Al Gore also an owner of Exxon stock and having numerous dealing with Occidental Petroleum. Barbara Boxer, a democratic senator in California is a Halliburton stockowner. She also owns stock in various other energy firms. Just because Bush was in the oil industry at one time doesnt provide you with an argument against drilling in ANWR. Take me for example, I do not own any stock in any energy company and like the majority of people I support drilling in ANWR. So you made an invalid point in response and my response makes a note of that. I did that without even bringing the polar opposite, which would be the environmentalist groups and the money they pump into the coffers of people who just happen to oppose drilling in ANWR.
Response to 4 -OPIC is a taxpayer-backed attempt to spur private sector growth in developing nations. Since it was founded in 1971, OPIC has turned a profit every year, although occasionally congress appropriates foreign aid funds to expand OPICs presence. It currently has reserves of over $3 billion, held in U.S. bonds. The financing arm, which was first commissioned in the mid 1980s by Reagan and expanded tenfold by Clinton, provides both direct loans and, for loans above $10 million, loan guarantees. Loans are distributed through investment funds. These funds are established by an act of congress and directed by private managers. OPIC provides a loan guarantee for half of the fund, with the rest of the money coming from the private sector. Thus, private banks and investment groups provide the money, but should the loan go bad, the United States will compensate half of the bill. For banks, it is the equivalent of a K-Mart clearance sale. Twice the loan, half the risk. Loans are generally U.S. Government rates plus 2.5 to 5 percent; in other words, market rates. So to sum it up you have once again fabricated an erroneous story and that is clear due to the fact the OPIC doesnt invest in environmental reforms and you said 'Russian OPIC' when Russia is one of the countries OPIC targets to spur investment.
Sounds right to me.
First technically recoverable and economically recoverable are two different numbers. Let's take a look at your numbers. First start at the 1998 USGS assessment:
The total quantity of technically recoverable oil within the entire assessment area is estimated to be between 5.7 and 16.0 billion barrels (95-percent and 5-percent probability range), with a mean value of 10.4 billion barrels. Technically recoverable oil within the ANWR 1002 area (excluding State and Native areas) is estimated to be between 4.3 and 11.8 billion barrels (95- and 5-percent probability range), with a mean value of 7.7 billion barrels (table 1).
Quantities of technically recoverable oil are not expected to be uniformly distributed throughout the ANWR 1002 area. The undeformed area (fig. 2) is estimated to contain between 3.4 and 10.2 billion barrels of oil (BBO) (95- and 5-percent probability), with a mean of 6.4 BBO. The deformed area (fig. 2) is estimated to contain between 0 and 3.2 BBO (95- and 5-percent probability), with a mean of 1.2 BBO.
Hmm, don't see the very high reserve numbers you gave. Later on the report estimates only 5.4 BBO of economically available oil (given $30/bbl - 1996 dollars).
While Prudhoe itself went from an original estimate of available reserve of 9 BBO (1968) and 35% recovery to an estimated total recovery of 13 BBO (2001) and 70% total recovery, it is very impossible future technological gains will see similar improvements. The biggest gain so far resulted from the introduction of gas injection technology. This is old enough, and common enough technology, to be included in the USGS report. Therefore, I would NOT expect the amount of technically available oil to increase significantly.
Assuming 1 million Barrels per day of production (same as Prudhoe), the best the ANWR will do is replace about 20% of today's 5.2 million barrel/day OPEC importation. This number will go down as the amount of easily obtained oil is harvested and more expensive, and slower recovery methods have to be implemented.
I am totally shaking my head as to why you think there is no difference between being an executive member or board member than a common shareholder. Being on the BoD, or owning preferrential stock (such as Cheney) gives you a lot more say than just owning common stock.
As to only one democratic senator owning Halliburton stock, just because the devil does it, it means it is okay to ignore the argument? All of the Senators, Republican btw - but that is irrelevent, from Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma, have received large amounts of Soft PAC money from Oil companies and have extensive personal stakes as well.
Okay, I looked at OPIC and you are right, it makes and guarantees loans though some of the investments are environmentally based. And if it has turned a profit, then that is a very good thing. I was thinking it was a money pit.
-- Paine Webber's Russia Country Fund is the first U.S. Government-sponsored private investment fund. It is expected to generate about $300 million of investment in Russia. OPIC is contributing $50 million toward a $75 to $100-million private investment fund sponsored by Paine Webber to provide equity investment to new businesses in Russia, with particular emphasis on energy and environmental projects. Final discussions are underway concerning the Russian Government's contribution of an additional $25 million to the fund which would then make it the first joint Russian-American investment fund.Back to your original argument, yes, OPIC is only marginally responsible for environmental issues. However, the Gore-Chernomyrdin commission did make several other environmental agreements, mostly through the Commodity Import program.