New CBO study: lifting drilling restrictions would increase U.S. energy reserves by 30%

From CNS News.


 A report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that lifting the ban on federal oil drilling in certain areas could increase U.S. petroleum reserves by 30 percent, including an estimated 8 billion barrels of oil in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).

Using estimates from the Department of the Interior (DOI), CBO said that lifting federal drilling restrictions could bring billions more barrels of oil and gas to market.

“CBO estimates that about 175 billion barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) exists in undiscovered oil and gas reserves on federal lands (excluding most of the natural gas reserves in Alaska)—nearly half of it in the central and western parts of the Gulf of Mexico,” CBO said.

“About 70 percent of the undiscovered oil and gas is under federal control on lands that are currently open to leasing; thus, additional receipts would come from opening the other 30 percent to leasing and production.”

Thus, by lifting federal drilling bans in place in areas like ANWR and areas of the Outer Continental Shelf, oil-producing companies could gain access to an additional 30 percent of U.S. reserves – 52.5 billion barrels.

While the reserves are technically recoverable – meaning oil companies could extract the oil and gas — legal restrictions and current administration policies prohibit oil companies from doing so.

CBO excluded most of Alaska’s gas reserves because there is no infrastructure in place to transport the gas to market, a fact CBO said made them unlikely to be tapped.

The figures come from an August 9 CBO report examining the benefits the federal government would receive if it lifted all current drilling bans on federal lands, including ANWAR.

All that oil would create a lot of jobs, too. But we know from the last four years that the Obama administration has no interest in either producing more energy or creating jobs. Otherwise, they would have built the Keystone XL pipeline and lifted these restrictions on drilling.

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