Abstract for  
Uppsala, Sweden, May 23-25, 2002
Organised by Uppsala University and ASPO,the Association for the Study of Peak Oil

An Overview of US Hydrocarbon Supply 
and the Possible Impact of New Alaskan Reserves
by Jeremy Gilbert (Formerly Chief Petroleum Engineer, BP)

The paper will summarize the historical record of hydrocarbon discovery in the United States and emphasize that for conventional oil both discovery and production rates have peaked.  Comments will be made on the situation relating to gas discovery and production.  The significance of the discovery of the major Alaskan fields at Prudhoe Bay and Kuparuk will be discussed and the history of Prudhoe Bay in particular will be used to assess the potential for new technology to bring about ‘reserves growth’ in existing fields.  The potential of the essentially unexplored Alaskan National Wildlife Reserve (ANWR) to counteract in the declines in production from the ‘Lower’48 states will be assessed.  It will be concluded that the US has no possibility of being self-sufficient in oil supply without radical cuts being made in oil demand.       

The powerpoint and article by Dr. Gilbert have been posted here as:

Technology and Frontier Areas - Can they save the USA?, by Jeremy Gilbert, presentation to the International Workshop on Oil Depletion, Uppsala, Sweden [2002 May 23-24]

... and with more details: New Technology and Opening Up ANWR - The Keys to Resolving the US Oil Supply-Demand Imbalance?" by Jeremy Gilbert, in Energy Exploration & Exploitation 21, pp. 71-78. [2003 February]

"The US has been thoroughly explored, the discovery of a number of major new fields is now most unlikely.... However, US domestic production rates are inexorably declining and so even if conservation and replacement can keep oil demand from increasing further, imports are set to grow. The cost of these imports will rise and may become insupportable even for a country with such a large economy as the US....

"Is there a solution to this coming crisis, short of US annexation of non US oil production? Perhaps, but it does not lie in ANWR nor in the finding and application of new technology to conventional oil sources."

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