In anticipation of the need for scientific support for policy decisions and in light of the decade-old perspective of a previous assessment, the USGS has completed a reassessment of the petroleum potential of the ANWR 1002 area. This was a comprehensive study by a team of USGS scientists in collaboration on technical issues (but not the assessment) with colleagues in other agencies and universities. The study incorporated all available public data and included new field and analytic work as well as the reevaluation of all previous work.
Using a methodology similar to that used in previous USGS assessments in the ANWR and the NPRA, this study estimates that the total quantity of technically recoverable oil in the 1002 area is 7.7 BBO (mean value), which is distributed among 10 plays. Using a conservative estimate of 512 million barrels as a minimum commercially developable field size, then about 2.6 BBO of oil distributed in about three fields is expected to be economically recoverable in the undeformed part of the 1002 area. Using a similar estimated minimum field size, which may not be conservative considering the increased distance from infrastructure, the deformed area would be expected to have about 600 MMBO in one field.
The amounts of in-place oil estimated for the 1002 area are larger than previous USGS estimates. The increase results in large part from improved resolution of reprocessed seismic data and geologic analogs provided by recent nearby oil discoveries.
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