API-commissioned study lists benefits of tapping formerly locked-up resources

Development of US oil and gas resources which Congress kept off-limits for decades could generate more than $1.7 trillion of government revenue, create thousands of new jobs and enhance the nation's energy security by significantly boosting domestic energy production, a new study suggested on Dec. 8.

The study by ICF International, which the American Petroleum Institute commissioned, concluded that developing offshore areas covered by congressional moratoriums until recently, along with resources in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and a small portion of currently unavailable land in the Rocky Mountains, could increase US crude oil production by as much as 2 million bbl a day by 2030, offsetting nearly a fifth of the nation's crude imports.

Natural gas production could increase by 5.34 billion cubic feet per day, or the equivalent of 61% of the expected gas imports in 2030, the study added. It also estimated that development of all US oil and gas resources on federal lands could exceed $4 trillion over the life of the resources.

US crude production would rise by 36% and natural gas production would increase by 10% if development was permitted in the studied areas of the US Outer Continental Shelf, ANWR and the Rockies, according to the ICF study. About 160,000 jobs would be created in the process, it indicated.

API President Jack N. Gerard said that the study underscore how the oil and gas industry could enhanced US energy security and help solve domestic economic problems by increasing production of US oil and gas resources.

"The US oil and gas industry supports more than 6 million jobs, and more drilling for oil and gas will mean more energy for America, more well-paying jobs and trillions of dollars of much-needed revenues that will help federal, state and local governments pay for critical services," he said.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com

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