API: Prioritize Arctic development

June 16, 2015

API encouraged congress and regulators to prioritize Arctic offshore oil and natural gas development as the House Natural Resources Committee prepared to hold a hearing on Arctic energy today (16 June).

“Arctic oil and natural gas represent incredible potential for American energy security, jobs and revenue for the government,” said Erik Milito, API upstream group director. “No other undeveloped energy basin in the country can match the amount of oil and natural gas we can produce in the Arctic.” 

The Beaufort and Chukchi Seas off the northern coast of Alaska could be home to more oil and natural gas than the US Pacific and Atlantic coasts and the Eastern Gulf of Mexico combined, according to estimates by the US Department of the Interior.

“Oil and natural gas have been produced safely in Arctic and icy conditions around the world for decades,” Milito said. “Industry has the experience and knowhow to responsibly develop these resources. The long lead times for exploration and development work coupled with the time required for government approvals mean we must start working now to realize the benefits of Arctic energy in decades to come.”

The technology to safely develop offshore oil and natural gas in the Arctic already exists, but getting permits, exploring for the resource and building the necessary infrastructure will require long-term planning. These resources will only be available to consumers in the 2030s and 2040s if exploratory drilling is allowed to begin during this decade, according to a National Petroleum Council report commissioned by the US Department of Energy.

Image: Large offshore Arctic drilling rig/iStock



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