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Thursday, July 24, 2008

The USGS has released its survey of the hydrocarbon reserves in the Arctic and it's a doozy: "90 billion barrels of undiscovered, technically recoverable oil, 1,670 trillion cubic feet of technically recoverable natural gas, and 44 billion barrels of technically recoverable natural gas liquids."

These resources account for about 22 percent of the undiscovered, technically recoverable resources in the world. The Arctic accounts for about 13 percent of the undiscovered oil, 30 percent of the undiscovered natural gas, and 20 percent of the undiscovered natural gas liquids in the world. About 84 percent of the estimated resources are expected to occur offshore.
Environment 360 notes that this is "enough to meet global demand for three years"—so while it's not salvation from Peak Oil, it does push the peak back a bit, and probably (unfortunately) makes opposition to Arctic drilling politically untenable in the short term.

Still, as Dot Earth makes clear, this "bonzana" doesn't change the underlying energy calculus in any substantive way:
The Arctic energy report, then, perhaps supports the assertions of those saying that the world will not be able to drill its way out of the oil crunch in the long run, and that, with or without considering global warming, we must eventually shift to electrified transportation and renewable farmed fuels for sectors like aviation that can’t plug in.