Oil Exploration

We believe developing as much oil as possible with the first priority being the safest on shore oil reserves and oil that does not have to be transported across the water.

The Bakken Shale Oil field, which stretches down from Canada into North Dakota and Montana, could hold 3.65 billion barrels in oil reserves which would be the largest finding in U.S history next to the Oil fields in Alaska.  This oil shale formation is located in the Williston Basin according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Bakken formation is a rich deposit that the U.S. Geological Survey calls the largest continuous oil accumulation it has ever assessed.  On top of this, landowners are striking it rich as they sell their drilling rights to drilling companies.

In 1995, the USGS surveyed the Bakken area in which they found roughly 151 million barrels of recoverable oil.  Since then, there have been many technological advances causing the big spike to 3.65 billion barrels of recoverable oil.  The biggest oil field, which is located at the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska ( ANWAR ), could potentially hold up to 10 billion barrels of oil.

The Bakken Shale Formation Play, also referred to as the North Dakota Shale, was deposited in the more central and deeper portion of the Williston Basin.  In addition to North Dakota, Montana, and Saskatchewan, a small part of Manitoba is involved in Canada.  The Williston Basin extends down into South Dakota as well but is not considered part of the Bakken Oil Shale Play.

Where is Oil in Bakken Shale Formation being drilled the most?  There have been a record number of oil drilling rigs grinding away at the land.  There are now over 4,000 active oil wells in North Dakota and that estimate is forecast to rise as more and more oil is extracted.  Some of the sweet spots in Baken Shale Oil Field by city are:  Beluh, Hazen, Parshall, Garison, Washburn.  Bakken Shale Oil Field Counties: Mountrail County, Dunn County, Mercer County. 

New Technology - Horizontal Drilling, has made all of this possible because before the year 2000 almost no oil or gas was extracted from Bakken Shale, which extends nearly 2 miles below the earths surface vertically.   Now, after they drill vertically, the drill horizontally!   They is very expensive but affordable if you can get great results!

Bakken Shale Formation 2011:  Drilling continues to see growth in the Bakken Shale in 2011.  Oil prices are around $97 heading into March due to the Middle East Protests.  The prospects for the Bakken Shale look bright in 2011.  We are expecting oil to hit the $100-$110 zone again at some point.   As the price of oil rises in the second half of 2011, companies will continue doing huge multi billion dollar joint ventures.  The Bakken Shale is by far the most productive oil field in the United States right now!

Is this the new trend?  Energy companies located in the U.S. are turning to shale formations, where hydrocarbons are trapped in layers of rock to extract oil and gas. 


Top ten reasons to support ANWR development

Arctic Winter Exploration
Arctic Winter Exploration

1. Only 8% of ANWR would be considered for exploration. - Only the 1.5 million acre 10-02 Area (8% of ANWR’s total area), is being considered for exploration.  The remaining 17.5 million acres of ANWR is permanently off limits to any exploration.  If oil is discovered, current legislation allows only allows 2000 acres of the 10-02 Area can be used for surface structures.  That’s less than half of 1% of ANWR’s total area can be impacted by an oil field. 

2. Revenues to the State and Federal Treasury - Federal revenues would be enhanced by billions of dollars from bonus bids, lease rentals, royalties and taxes.  Lease sale revenues alone are estimates by the Office of Management and Budget at between $4-6 billion.  Royalties and taxes are estimated @$100per barrel to be between $84.6-237.5 billion.

3. Jobs to be Created – Materials, services and infrastructure needed for oil production in the 10-02 will create hundreds of thousands of manufacturing and high skilled service jobs nationwide.  Every state in the nation would be impacted by this.

4. Economic Impact – Between 1977 and 2004 the Arctic oil industries spent over $50 billion within the nation’s economy.  Almost all products and infrastructure used in Arctic oil field production come from the lower 48 states.

5. America’s Best Chance for a Major Discovery – The United States Geological Survey (USGS) 1998 study on ANWR shows the 10-02 Area Coastal Plain of ANWR has the highest potential for a super-large oil field of any other place on the North American continent.  If you are going to explore for oil, the best chance to find it, in the largest quantity, with the smallest footprint would be the 10-02 Area.

6. North Slope Production in Decline – Oil from Prudhoe Bay oil fields only 50 miles to the west of ANWR have been in decline for nearly a decade.  The Trans-Alaska Pipeline (TAPS) is 1/3rd full at 630,000 bpd.  Alaskan North Slope oil supplies the West Coast of America and without new oil the TAPS will eventually be shut down and removed by law, thus stranding all Arctic oil.  TAPS has the capacity to supply 1/10th of the nations daily consumption of oil.

7. Imported Oil Too CostlyToday the US imports 61% of our oil from abroad.  That represents over $400 billion dollars a year being sent abroad.  Oil imports are the single largest contributor to our national debt.  Every barrel of ANWR oil would replace a barrel imported from abroad.  With ANWR oil the jobs, the money, and the infrastructure stay at home.

8. No Negative Impact to Animals – Oil and gas development and wildlife are successfully coexisting in Alaska’s Arctic.  The Central Arctic Caribou Herd migrates directly through the Prudhoe Bay oil field has grown from 5000 animals in the early 70s to well over 66,000 animals today.  The Arctic oil fields are monitored daily by State and Federal wildlife specialists and are home to a very healthy brown bear, fox, musk oxen, bird and fish populations equal or better to the surrounding area.

9. Arctic Technology = Advanced Technology – Arctic exploration technology is the most advanced in the world.  It represents the cutting edge in minimal impact with maximum return.  Advanced drilling technology has allowed the footprint of development to shrink over 64% in the past 30 years while doubling technical rates of return to over 60%. ANWR development would increase and better this trend.

10. Alaskans Support – Over 78% of Alaskans favor exploration and production on the Coastal Plain of ANWR.  Over the past 30 years almost every member of the democratically elected Alaska State Legislature, every single Alaskan Congressional delegate, and every single Alaskan Governor has supported environmentally sensitive development of the 10-02 Area of ANWR.  ANWR development is not a partisan issue in Alaska, it is strongly supported by all.

Offshore Drilling Rigs

Those who disparage offshore drilling - and seem eager to ban it - ignore that the Gulf of Mexico accounts for one-third of U.S. oil production. Without domestic production, we would be spending even more on imported oil - which is already running $1.5 billion a day.

Any sensible response to the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig - and the huge oil spill that's fouling gulf waters - needs to recognize two facts. First, the demand for oil is expected to increase unless we can develop the alternative fuels quickly such as that are in this plan. Second, America cannot suddenly stop offshore drilling.

One best places in the United States to find new oil is in the gulf's untapped deepwater areas, in the Atlantic, and off Alaska. These three drilling areas combined hold as much as 22 billion barrels of oil, which is more than our current total estimated reserves. This oil would help meet U.S. energy needs for decades.

But if these areas are closed to oil production, we would need to import more oil from overseas, probably from countries that are nationalistic and, in some cases, hostile. Some of the countries are run by despots like Venezuela's Hugo Chavez.

The reality is that the cards are stacked against us. U.S. investor-owned oil companies hold only 6 percent of the world's petroleum reserves, while state-owned national oil companies in Venezuela, Iran, China, Nigeria, India, Russia, Saudi Arabia and other countries control 80 percent of the reserves. Coincidentally, even some of these countries are drilling for oil in Cuban waters just 50 miles from Florida.That just doesn't make any sense what so ever.

The Gulf of Mexico is among the best areas to which U.S. companies still have access. Drilling for oil in the gulf is an opportunity we cannot afford to squander. Our energy security and economic growth depend on it.

Producing oil safely is essential. The offshore rig explosion that cost the lives of 11 men and threatened the gulf shores was such a shock that it has restarted a national debate on safety.

To its credit, the Obama administration has mounted a coordinated response to the accident. One is to break up the federal Minerals Management Service, the agency responsible for both regulating safety and raising revenue from offshore drilling. Creating a separate entity to oversee safety and environmental responsibilities is sensible and logical.

Meanwhile, the oil industry has established two task forces to examine its own safety standards and procedures. We can expect oil firms to learn useful lessons from the accident, keeping in mind that any form of energy development poses safety and environmental challenges that must be faced, resolved and overcome. How to maintain stable energy production amid sweeping technological change is a problem our government is only beginning to appreciate.

It's an unfortunate fact that no energy source is perfect.

Imposing a ban on offshore oil development would be a mistake of historic proportions.

The fact is, before the Deepwater Horizon capsized there had not been a large oil spill from an offshore drilling rig in 40 years. The National Research Council reports that offshore drilling accounts for only 1 percent of the oil in U.S. waters, and tankers and pipelines only 4 percent.

By way of comparison, one-third of the oil in U.S. waters comes from other shipping, and 62 percent from natural seepage through the ocean floor.

Nevertheless, some politicians will be tempted to call for a moratorium on offshore drilling. A more measured, less politically galvanizing response would achieve the best results. The question isn't whether to drill offshore, but how to do it more safely.

There is a simple relationship that ties a nation's economic prosperity to its energy availability, and that's why government should not prevent the development of our energy resources. The oil industry accounts for a whopping 7.2 percent of GDP and 9.2 million American jobs - something we should keep in mind as we debate the future of offshore drilling.



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