Tag Archives: Barrels

Is Obama telling the truth about U.S. oil reserves?

The Department of Energy's own figures

The Department of Energy’s own figures

Investors Business Daily explains. (H/T Master Resource)

Excerpt:

When he was running for the Oval Office four years ago amid $4-a-gallon gasoline prices, then-Sen. Barack Obama dismissed the idea of expanded oil production as a way to relieve the pain at the pump.

“Even if you opened up every square inch of our land and our coasts to drilling,” he said. “America still has only 3% of the world’s oil reserves.” Which meant, he said, that the U.S. couldn’t affect global oil prices.

It’s the same rhetoric President Obama is using now, as gas prices hit $4 again, except now he puts the figure at 2%.

“With only 2% of the world’s oil reserves, we can’t just drill our way to lower gas prices,” he said. “Not when we consume 20% of the world’s oil.”

The claim makes it appear as though the U.S. is an oil-barren nation, perpetually dependent on foreign oil and high prices unless we can cut our own use and develop alternative energy sources like algae.

But the figure Obama uses — proved oil reserves — vastly undercounts how much oil the U.S. actually contains. In fact, far from being oil-poor, the country is awash in vast quantities — enough to meet all the country’s oil needs for hundreds of years.

The U.S. has 22.3 billion barrels of proved reserves, a little less than 2% of the entire world’s proved reserves, according to the Energy Information Administration. But as the EIA explains, proved reserves “are a small subset of recoverable resources,” because they only count oil that companies are currently drilling for in existing fields.

When you look at the whole picture, it turns out that there are vast supplies of oil in the U.S., according to various government reports. Among them:

At least 86 billion barrels of oil in the Outer Continental Shelf yet to be discovered, according to the government’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.

About 24 billion barrels in shale deposits in the lower 48 states, according to EIA.

Up to 2 billion barrels of oil in shale deposits in Alaska’s North Slope, says the U.S. Geological Survey.

Up to 12 billion barrels in ANWR, according to the USGS.

As much as 19 billion barrels in the Utah tar sands, according to the Bureau of Land Management.

Then, there’s the massive Green River Formation in Wyoming, which according to the USGS contains a stunning 1.4 trillion barrels of oil shale — a type of oil released from sedimentary rock after it’s heated.

[…]All told, the U.S. has access to 400 billion barrels of crude that could be recovered using existing drilling technologies, according to a 2006 Energy Department report.

When you include oil shale, the U.S. has 1.4 trillion barrels of technically recoverable oil, according to the Institute for Energy Research, enough to meet all U.S. oil needs for about the next 200 years, without any imports.

Please share this article, because it is unlikely that Obama’s Solyndra-supporting buddies in the mainstream media will report the facts on domestic energy production.

Production of oil, gas and coal on federal lands sinks to 9-year low

Obama claims that production of oil, gas and coal is up since he took office. It’s true that areas under state control are producing more, but what about energy production on federal lands? That’s the part of the country that Obama is responsible for.

Let’s see what two recent studies from the Energy Information Administration and the Institute for Energy Research found.

Excerpt:

The updated EIA report revealed a 12 percent decline in production for coal, oil, and natural gas on federal and Indian lands from fiscal 2003 through fiscal 2011.

During this same period, production on state and private lands has increased, boosting overall production numbers for the United States. That’s a point even President Obama will acknowledge: “Under my Administration, domestic oil and natural gas production is up,” he said upon announcing his rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline.

Obama is correct. He just can’t rightfully claim the credit, since the vast majority of America’s new oil and gas production is happening on private lands in states like North Dakota, Alaska and Texas.

The administration, meanwhile, has also taken several steps to limit production…

  • Withdrew areas offered for 77 oil and gas leases in Utah that could cost American taxpayers millions in lost lease bids, production royalties, new jobs and the energy needed to offset rising imports of oil and natural gas.
  • Cancelled lease sales in the Western Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic coast and delayed exploration off the coast of Alaska and kept other resource-rich areas off-limits.
  • Finalized rules, first announced by Secretary Salazar on January 6, 2010, to establish more government hurdles to onshore oil and natural gas production on federal lands.
  • Withdrew 61 oil and natural gas leases in Montana as part of a lawsuit settlement over climate change.

“The big picture is clear that government policies undertaken by the Obama administration have produced a significant decline in offshore oil production on federal lands in fiscal year 2011,” the Institute for Energy Research said in response to last week’s updated EIA analysis. “That is certainly not a way to increase domestic production of oil and keep oil and thus gasoline prices in check.”

While it was waiting for EIA to update its numbers, the Institute for Energy Research conducted its own analysis of Department of Interior data in February. It came to the same conclusion: “Production on federal lands is down, while production on state and private lands is up.”

That’s the real story behind Obama’s claims about higher energy production. He’s doing his best to block energy production in the areas under his control. His energy plan is Solyndra, Solyndra, Solyndra – paying off his rich Democrat buddies with taxpayer money.

Government report: US has world’s largest supply of oil, natural gas and coal

Here’s the press release. (H/T Canada Free Press)

Abstract:

Sen. James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Ranking Member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, today released an updated government report from the Congressional Research Service (CRS) showing America’s combined recoverable oil, natural gas, and coal endowment is the largest on Earth. America’s recoverable resources are far larger than those of Saudi Arabia (3rd), China (4th), and Canada (6th) combined.  And that’s not including America’s immense oil shale and methane hydrates deposits.

Details:

Oil

CRS offers a more accurate reflection of America’s substantial oil resources.  While America is often depicted as possessing just 2 or 3 percent of the world’s oil – a figure which narrowly relies on America’s proven reserves of just 28 billion barrels – CRS has compiled US government estimates which show that America, the world’s third-largest oil producer, is endowed with 163 billion barrels of recoverable oil. That’s enough oil to maintain America’s current rates of production and replace imports from the Persian Gulf for more than 50 years.

Natural Gas

Further, CRS notes the 2009 assessment from the Potential Gas Committee, which estimates America’s future supply of natural gas is 2,047 trillion cubic feet (TCF) – an increase of more than 25 percent just since the Committee’s 2006 estimate.  At today’s rate of use, this is enough natural gas to meet American demand for 90 years.

Coal

The report also shows that America is number one in coal resources, accounting for more than 28 percent of the world’s coal. Russia, China, and India are in a distant 2nd, 3rd, and 5th, respectively. In fact, CRS cites America’s recoverable coal reserves to be 262 billion short tons. For perspective, the US consumes just 1.2 billion short tons of coal per year.  And though portions of this resource may not be accessible or economically recoverable today, these estimates could ultimately prove to be conservative.  As CRS states: “…U.S. coal resource estimates do not include some potentially massive deposits of coal that exist in northwestern Alaska.  These currently inaccessible coal deposits have been estimated to be more than 3,200 billion short tons of coal.”

Oil Shale

While several pilot projects are underway to prove oil shale’s future commercial viability, the Green River Formation located within Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah contains the equivalent of 6 trillion barrels of oil.  The Department of Energy estimates that, of this 6 trillion, approximately 1.38 trillion barrels are potentially recoverable.  That’s equivalent to more than five times the conventional oil reserves of Saudi Arabia.

Methane Hydrates

Although not yet commercially feasible, methane hydrates, according to the Department of Energy, possess energy content that is “immense … possibly exceeding the combined energy content of all other known fossil fuels.” While estimates vary significantly, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) recently testified that: “the mean in-place gas hydrate resource for the entire United States is estimated to be 320,000 TCF of gas.” For perspective, if just 3% of this resource can be commercialized in the years ahead, at current rates of consumption, that level of supply would be enough to provide America’s natural gas for more than 400 years.

The press release has lots of informative graphs.

The PDF of the full report is here.

Obama keeps blocking energy production at home, and sending taxpayer money (and jobs) to countries in the Middle East, some of who don’t like us very much. What would possess a president to undermine the national security and economy of his own country that way? Why does he want to raise the cost of living for his fellow citizens and send jobs overseas to the Middle East?