Should we start drilling in ANWR?

39% (46 votes)
29% (34 votes)
I don't know. I want to ask Al Gore before I answer cuz him so smart.
1% (1 vote)
Yes, and on the Continental Shelf as well.
28% (33 votes)
What's an ANWR?
3% (4 votes)
Total votes: 118
Your rating: None Average: 3.5 (2 votes)

Let’s be clear. Americans have no rights to the oil once it’s pumped from the ground. Once it’s pumped it goes onto the free market and we get the same chance to pay for it, just like every other country out there.

As a matter of fact, with our weak dollar, China or Europeans would be able to snap it up a whole lot cheaper than we can.

When and if we started to pump out of ANWR our best hope is to pump about round 1 million barrels per day. If McCain attracts Iran, we’ll be pulling 2.5 million barrels per day out of the world market.

With America importing 60% of our oil, even if we could pump out ANWR to replace our all our imports, at best ANWR would be tapped out in about two years.

Lastly, true supply and demand only marginally playing into current price oil. Right now you have a whole bunch of speculators playing the under regulated energy market, gaming the system for higher prices and profits. You have a weak dollar that makes everything in the world more expensive to us, particularly oil since it’s only purchased in American dollars. Lastly, you have a president who keeps America on a war footing with Iran, only driving the price up more.

One million barrels of day isn’t going to solve this problem.

says it all.

Let’s be clear. Americans have no rights to the oil once it’s pumped from the ground. Once it’s pumped it goes onto the free market and we get the same chance to pay for it, just like every other country out there.

It isn't going to be cheaper oil, or free oil, or even our oil. It belongs to the buyer. So, then, why should the US of A despoil the last undeveloped wilderness in order to make rich oil company executives richer?

Mad Jack
Mad Jack's Shack

It'll take TEN YEARS to get that oil onto the market. And even then, there's only enough there to last 6 months. ANWR is NOT the answer.

Pink Slip

In fairness, I've seen that we have a whole year supply of oil in ANWR. With us only needing to cover our 60% oil import, we could strech it to 2 years. Of course we'll never be able to pump more then 1 million a day so it's a bit of a moot point.

So under the best circumstances, in 5 to 10 year we could be oil independent for two years and then right back were we started.

I'm at the point of letting the Republicans have ANWR just to shut them up. Some how they think we'd have $1.50 per gallon gas is only we could drill ANWR...

Of course it won’t be enough…so it would be we could have could have $1.50 gas if we could only drill off of Florida’s coast and after that, if we only could use the oil shale, after that Republicans will tell us that it’s all the Liberal’s fault for not allowing the oil companies to turn grandma into SOYLENT GREEN to fuel the car.

Oil and the gasoline engine is not the way to go…

Your facts are a little off dear. I suggest you revisit them.
It'll take too long.....waaaah......there isn't enough there to make it worth it.......waaah...... it's too hard....waaah.
Sheesh, I'm glad my ancestors didn't have that attitude when they hit the Great Black Swamp.

I'll copy/paste some of the info for those that are not inclined to go look it up for themselves at

How much oil is in ANWR?

Geologists agree that the Coastal Plain has the nation's best geologic prospects for major new onshore oil discoveries. According to the Department of Interior's 1987 resource evaluation of ANWR's Coastal Plain, there is a 95% chance that a 'super field' with 500 million barrels would be discovered. DOI also estimates that there exists a mean of 3.5 billion barrels, and a 5% chance that a large Prudhoe Bay type discovery would be made.

High potential. The high potential for significant discoveries of oil and gas in ANWR has long been recognized. Early explorers of the region at the turn of the century, found oil seeps and oil-stained sands. However, since ANWR was established in 1960, exploration in the region has been restricted to surface geological investigations, aeromagnetic surveys, and two winter seismic surveys (in 1983-84 and 1984-85). No exploratory drilling has been accomplished in the area except for one well commenced in the winter of 1984-85 on Kaktovik Inupiat Corporation and Arctic Slope Regional Corporation lands southeast of Kaktovik on the Coastal Plain.

Location to big finds. Although little oil and gas exploration has taken place in ANWR, the Coastal Plain is believed to have economically recoverable oil resources. The Coastal Plain lies between two known major discovery areas. About 65 miles to the west of the Coastal Plain, the Prudhoe Bay, Lisburne, Endicott, Milne Point, and Kuparuk oil fields are currently in production. Approximately 1.5 million barrels of oil a day are produced from these fields, representing 25% of our domestic production. To the east of the Coastal Plain, major discoveries have been made in Canada, near the Mackenzie River Delta and in the Beaufort Sea.

U.S. Geological Survey - 1980. In 1980, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated the Coastal Plain could contain up to 17 billion barrels of oil and 34 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

U.S. Department of Interior - 1987. After several years of surface geological investigations, aeromagnetic surveys, and two winter seismic surveys (in 1983-84 and 1984-85), the U.S. Department of Interior (DOI), in its April, 1987 report on the oil and gas potential of the Coastal Plain, estimated that there are billions of barrels of oil to be discovered in the area. DOI estimates that "in-place resources" range from 4.8 billion to 29.4 billion barrels of oil. Recoverable oil estimates ranges from 600 million barrels at the low end to 9.2 billion barrels at the high end. They also reported identifying 26 separate oil and gas prospects in the Coastal Plain that could each contain "super giant" fields (500 million barrels or more).

U.S. Geological Survey � 1998. The most recent petroleum assessment prepared by the USGS in 1998 (OFR 98-34), increased the estimate for technically recoverable mean crude oil resources. (See Oil in the ANWR? It�s Time to Find Out!)

Only drilling will tell. The geologic indicators are very favorable for the presence of significant oil and gas resources in ANWR, but the limited data means that there is a high level of uncertainty about how much oil and gas may be present. Consequently, current estimates represent the best scientific guesses. However, most geologists (Insert sarcasm here - THEY ARE SCIENTISTS - SO YOU CAN TRUST THEM) agree that the potential is on the order of billions of barrels of recoverable oil and trillions of cubic feet of recoverable gas and that these resources may rival or exceed the initial reserves at Prudhoe Bay. The validity of these estimates can be proved only by drilling exploratory wells. Authorization for exploration must be given by Congress and the President.

In 1996 the North Slope oil fields produced about 1.5 million barrels of oil per day, or approximately 25 percent of the U.S. domestic production. However, Prudhoe Bay, which accounts for over half of North Slope production, began its decline in 1988, and no new fields have yet been discovered with the potential to compensate for that decline.

CARIBOU in the region
Over four decades of development on the North Slope have shown that caribou can co-exist with development. The Central Arctic Herd, which calves in the Prudhoe Bay and Kuparuk oil fields, has increased from 3,000 animals to more than 23,400 animals. Facilities in the Coastal Plain area would be designed to protect this important species and their habitat.

Caribou Caribou are the most numerous large mammals in the Coastal Plain. Two herds migrate through the area at different times of the year. The Porcupine Caribou Herd (named after the Porcupine River) and the Central Arctic Herd. The Porcupine Herd, which numbers approximately 123,000 animals, generally spends time during the summer months on the Coastal Plain, and the smaller Central Arctic Herd, approximately 32,000 animals, stay to the west of the Coastal Plain. The following discussion focuses on the Porcupine Herd, but basic features of the ecology and annual cycle of events are similar for both groups.

Spring Migration
The spring migration begins in early March as caribou gradually drift toward the northern limits of their wintering areas. The Porcupine Herd follows three major routes to the North Slope from primary wintering areas in Alaska and the Yukon Territory; the Richardson route, the Old Crow route, and the Arctic Village/South Brooks Range route.

The caribou segregate themselves into groups which migrate at different times. Pregnant females along with some yearlings and barren cows are the first to migrate, followed by bulls and the remaining juveniles. In mid-to-late May the pregnant females arrive on the North Slope, while the others follow a few weeks later.

Calving takes place during the last week in May and the first two weeks of June in the foothills and coastal region stretching from the Hulahula River in ANWR and the Babbage River located in Canada. The area is generally snow free by early June. Caribou are not distributed evenly across the area; instead, they gather in more, limited locations which vary from year to year.
By mid-to-late July, most Porcupine Caribou have moved off the Coastal Plain and into the foothills and mountains. Although some of the Porcupine Caribou occasionally remain on the North Slope for the winter, the Porcupine Caribou usually travel south and east to Canada. When they do stay on the North Slope, the Porcupine Caribou usually move westward from the Coastal Plain area and mingle with caribou from the Central Arctic Herd.

Post-calving Aggregation
As the mosquitoes emerge in late June and early July, the caribou gather into enormous post-calving aggregations, sometimes numbering in the tens of thousands. For example, in 1987, over 93,000 caribou assembled in one group south of Camden Bay. The caribou seek areas where breezes and cooler temperatures reduce the harassment by mosquitoes, and when there is no wind, the caribou move continually. Cold winds offer relief from the mosquitoes and permit the caribou to rest and feed freely.

The tundra provides a perfect environment for mosquitoes and other insects who emerge in late June and July continually harass the caribou. By mid-to-late July, most Porcupine Caribou have moved off the Coastal Plain and dispersed in the foothills, only to be plagued by two other insect pests; the warble fly and the nose bot fly. The warble fly, which looks like a small yellow and black bumblebee, lays its eggs in the fur and the legs or abdomen of the caribou. The larvae soon hatch, burrow under the skin, and travel to the back. here they encapsulate and cut a breathing hole in the skin. Caribou commonly carry over one hundred larvae. It is not until May and June of the following year that the larvae cut exit holes, crawl out and drop to the ground to develop into mature flies.
The nose bot bears live larvae, which it deposits in the nostrils of the caribou. The bot larvae move through the nasal passages and settle down at the entrance to the throat. By spring the larvae have grown so much that they may form a mass large enough to actually interfere with breathing. The reaction of the caribou to these flies if different from the reaction to mosquitoes. The warble and nose-bot flies are strong fliers and the caribou cannot avoid them simply by seeking breezy places or moving into the wind. Instead the caribou stand, heads held low, alert for the approach of the flies. During July and early August, caribou can be seen violently shaking their heads, stamping their feet, and racing wildly over the tundra, for no apparent reason; they are seeking to evade warble or bot flies. the fly season is followed by month's respite where the caribou can feed unmolested.

Fall Migration
The fall migration may begin any time from late August to mid-October as the caribou start to move generally southward. This migration will carry the caribou one hundred to three hundred miles south into the area south of the Brooks and into the southern Richardson and Ogilvie mountains in the Yukon Territory. The caribou continue to live on fat as they move south; the males will need energy reserves for the rut and all will need it during the winter. At this time, the bulls are shedding the velvet from their antlers and rubbing them against trees and shrubs.

Central Arctic Herd
The other caribou in ANWR, the Central Arctic Herd, follow the same basic annual pattern as the Porcupine Herd, except that migrations are much shorter. Caribou from the Central Arctic Herd move between the arctic coast and the Brooks Range mountains, with most animals remaining north of the continental divide all year. Central Arctic Caribou use the northwestern part of the Coastal Plain during summer, and in most years several hundred to a thousand spend the winter near the Sadlerochit Mountains of ANWR.

Caribou Populations
Both the Porcupine and 'Central Arctic Herds are biologically healthy. After a long period of stability at around 100,000 animals, the Porcupine Herd began to grow steadily during the late 1970s and 1980s and reached 180,000 animals by 1989. The herd then decreased during a series of severe winters and was down to 160,000 in 1992. In 2002, the Porcupine Herd numbered 123,000, but the caribou were in excellent physiological condition.
The Central Arctic Herd also increased during the 1970s and 1980s from 6,000 in 1978 to 23,400 in 1982. Rapid growth stopped in the late 1980s, however, and the herd now appears stable at around 32,000 animals. Relatively low calf production and survival in recent years may result from severe winter weather which has also depleted moose and Dall sheep populations in the central arctic area. It is also possible that the Central Arctic Herd is approaching range carrying capacity.

Subsistence Uses
The caribou in the two herds which utilized portions of ANWR during their migration are an important subsistence food source for Inupiat Eskimos and Athabascan Indians who live in communities near the migratory routes of the caribou herds.

And sitting around blaming the current president for every woe is helping even less. The time for talking and whining has come to an end. We either need to get busy digging up our own oil, building refineries right now or invent or enhance another source of energy.

Hey, I'm all for dumping the money we spend on the frigging war into research and development of alternative energy like Hydrogen, Natural Gas from waste, Wind, Solar.

All the BS spewed right now telling me to change my lightbulbs to fluorescent, and using one fricking square of toilet paper to wipe my fanny (Sheryl Crow's idea) ain't gonna do a darn thing.

I also think some legislation to restrict all the private jetting around the globe and driving giant Cadillac Escalades by elitist phonies would be another step in the right direction. Let's not forget their huge mansions being built merely to show off their wealth. Oh the hypocrisy of those fools in Hollywood - having the audacity to tell me how to cut back on energy while they're making tens of millions of dollars per job.

Sigh. It's good to vent sometimes.

When the gas was being rationed in the 70's, there was conservation. Lower speed limits, smaller cars and so on.

When the crisis passed the American public went back to the old ways, larger vehicles, higher speed limits and so on.

Seems we have forgotten what we went through and learned nothing, like slowing down, stop speeding off when the light turns red.

Buy a smaller car that uses less fuel.

Something we just not seem to grasp, use less of something versus not more.

Conservation is going to have a very, very small impact on oil prices. In fact, it may be nonexistent. For every barrel of oil we don't use someone in india or china will buy it maintaining the price at current levels.

With some now looking at the speculators driving the price of oil up, on events around the globe, maybe something will come of it.

Conservation may not have an immediate effect, but in the long term, it is one tool that we can use.

The auto industry is reacting to the consumers, Ford is announcing more jobs being eliminated as demand for larger vehicles slows.

China and India consumers and businesses are reacting to the increasing fuel costs, as the rest of the world community is.

Maybe now, with the costs affecting the global community, we will move forward and think forwardly.

The problem with conservation is that, even in the best of circumstances, it results in very little energy savings when looking at the whole country. And that savings pales in comparison to the billions of people in Asia and other developing countries that are moving out of poverty and into a position to buy vehicles. Any savings we could produce are going to be instantly negated by the economic growth and population growth of Asia and other developing countries.

That's why I saw conservation is essentially useless. We can't conserve our way out of the oil shortage. We could temporarily decrease prices by increasing production, but we can't continueto increase production indefinitely. Ultimately the only answer to our energy problem is developing alternative sources of energy for personal travel. Electric cars (not hybrids) are the answer in the near-future (10 years) and hydrogen power is the answer in the fuurther future (20-30 years).

Is that it is not just about gas and fuel consumption.

If we conserve, as in recycle more then there is a lessor demand for raw materials.

This can be about recycling of plastics to the recycling of asphalt, etc.

The current problems are global and there is no solution to the problem.

Arctic Drilling Wouldn't Cool High Oil Prices

"Federal energy analysts say it would take 10 years for production to begin, and its impact could be very modest"

Pink Slip

It may take 10 years to develop, but the minute the US announced that it was going to allow drilling in ANWR and off the coast you'd see the price of oil plummet. The interesting thing about commodities markets is that seemingly small events can cause dramatic price swings. Just like a threatened bombing of an oil pipeline in Nigeria can cause gas prices to rocket skyward, news that the US could provide the most stable oil production in the world (meaning the lowest threat of attack or other disruption) the oil markets would drop accordingly. It would also go a long way to ensuring that we have a guarenteed oil supply (albeit small) in the case of a truly catastrophic political scenario that saw MIddle Eastern oil disruptions.

I do wonder since the land is owned by the US government if they could mandate that any private companies collecting the oil must sell it to US and Canadian markets without putting the oil on the commodity exchange.

I think the country needs to just wake up to the fact that China and India are going to surpass us (if not already) economically and industrially. Their consumptions of oil and every other natural resource have risen beyond the ability to fulfill them and they are only growing.

I listened to the Glenn Beck show the other day and he had a very enlightening show on the subject of the need to get drilling for oil off our coast. His guest was a Congressman John E. Peterson, of PA.

If this information is true, then why in the hell are we dragging our feet on recovering oil and building refineries in North America?

Directory:North American Oil Fields
From PESWiki

Directory of information and resources related to oil production in the North American Continent.

There are a number of major oil fields in the North American Continent, including the North Slope, the Alberta and other Canadian provinces, the upper Mid-Central US, Pacific coast, Rockies and the offshore fields and Gulf of Mexico.

While our coverage is usually on alternatives to oil, the purpose of this page is to illustrate that there is no non-greed-based reason why the price of oil should be reaching as high as it is in North America, when the continent is awash in petroleum. As documented here and in the Abiotic Oil directory page, there really is enough, and to spare. Supply is far out in front of demand in this region, which could be exporting, instead of importing oil.

Williston Basin

* Integrated Analysis of the Bakken Petroleum System, U.S. Williston Basin ( - The Bakken Formation straddles the Devonian-Mississippian boundary and is one of more than 20 oil and gas producing formations in the Williston Basin.

Bakken Formation

* Bakken Shale Blog ( - News and videos related to the Bakken Shale in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Wyoming, Montana and North and South Dakotas.

"Just for the sake of curiosity. This huge oil field find was made in the early 1970s by the Canadian, Alex Pezzaro, one of our earlier members, first with a radionics device, and then confirmed with our Vancouver member's, John Hutchision, Q Cell system technology, which is extremely sensitive to geomagnetics.

The find was reported to our founding Senator, the late Hon. Chesley W. Carter, as head of the Canadian Senate Science Committee, who started up Petro-Canada on behalf of the late Rt. Hon. Pierre E. Trudeau, then prime minister of Canada, and who enabled further development of the Trans-Canada pipeline that fuels the US midwest, including Chicagoland.

Of course, the oil companies were first reluctant to accept such advanced technology as monitors for underground resources.. so it took some time.'

Dr. Andrew Michrowski The Planetary Association for Clean Energy ( Ottawa

* Bakken Formation (

"The boom has been so big the pipeline carrying Montana and North Dakota crude to Midwestern markets is at capacity and the largest company drilling in Elm Coulee has temporarily closed some wells because they have no way to sell it." - The Montana Standard (; Dec 2, 2007)

And because this is light, sweet oil, those billions of barrels will cost Americans just $16 per barrel for the next 41 years.

It was Dick Findley's idea to drill a well sideways - a technique called "horizontal directional drilling," in which wildcatters drill down to the oil and then kick out their well thousands of feet to the left or right.

* U.S. Says 400-Billion Barrel Bakken Oil Field a 'Myth' ( - Richard Pollastro, Bakken Formation task leader at the USGS, said the myth stems from a 1999 draft report -- never published -- by a now-deceased USGS employee as of 2000, Leigh C. Price ( (CNSNews; June 18, 2008)

Note: Why is Leigh C. Price, "a highly regarded geochemist who worked for the Denver office of the United States Geological Survey" now being blacklisted in death by the USGS?

* PeakOil Replies (
* There were 48,000 barrels a day being extracted from 300 wells ( as of April 2006. *Replies (
* More data from 2006 ( (Search and Discovery)
* Saskatchewan Energy Stats (
* Montana Production ( Under 3 million barrels in January 2008.
* North Dakota production ( Over 4 million barrels in January 2008.

We should be drilling, yesterday. For most of the 90's oil per barrel was in the range of $10 to $20. At this price in some of the places you cited, like the shale, you could not pull it out of the ground. It was just not cost effective.

We are not going to do away with the use of oil for some time, just ain't gonna happen. The excuse that it would take 8 to 10 years before we see production just isn't valid. OPEC/and the world needs to know we are serious about using the natural resources that we have available. There are no quick solutions. The best way to deal with the short-term is to take care of the long term.

The excuse that it would take 8 to 10 years before we see production just isn't valid.

Troy, according to the American Petroleum Institute, it will take at least seven to 10 years." But, by all means, if you've got different estimates than the oil companies, please share.

If we're going to throw money at long-term solutions, why not this instead?

Pink Slip

Timing of First Production

At the present time, there has been no crude oil production in the ANWR coastal plain region. This analysis assumes that enactment of the legislation in 2008 would result in first production from the ANWR area in 10 years, i.e., 2018.

The primary constraints to a rapid development of ANWR oil resources are the limited weather “windows” for collecting seismic data and drilling wells (a 3-to-4 month winter window) and for ocean barging of heavy infrastructure equipment to the well site (a 2-to-3 month summer window).

The assumption that ANWR oil production would begin 10 years after legislation approves the Federal oil and natural gas leasing in the 1002 Area is based on the following 8-to-12 year timeline:

* 2 to 3 years to obtain leases, including the development of a U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) leasing program, which includes approval of an Environmental Impact Statement, the collection and analysis of seismic data, and the auction and award of leases.
* 2 to 3 years to drill a single exploratory well. Exploratory wells are slower to drill because geophysical data are collected during drilling, e.g., rock cores and well logs. Typically, Alaska North Slope exploration wells take two full winter seasons to reach the desired depth.
* 1 to 2 years to develop a production development plan and obtain BLM approval for that plan, if a commercial oil reservoir is discovered. Considerably more time could be required if the discovered oil reservoir is very deep, is filled with heavy oil, or is highly faulted. The petroleum company might have to collect more seismic data or drill delineation wells to confirm that the deposit is commercial.
* 3 to 4 years to construct the feeder pipelines; to fabricate oil separation and treatment plants, and transport them up from the lower-48 States to the North Slope by ocean barge; construct drilling pads; drill to depth; and complete the wells.

The 10-year timeline for developing ANWR petroleum resources assumes that there is no protracted legal battle in approving the BLM’s draft Environmental Impact Statement, the BLM’s approval to collect seismic data, or the BLM’s approval of a specific lease-development proposal.

Some problems with Oil Shale-

You have to heat the rock to 700 degrees to get the kerogen (oil) out of it. So basically, it produces less net energy then normal oil (1 unit of energy to get 3.5 out). This will also lead to more green house gases

The rock permanently expands in size when heated. So good luck putting it back into the hole you dug it out of. BTW it takes two metric tons of rock to make one barrel of synthetic crude.

What's left of the rock is carcinogenic.

It takes 3 barrels of water to produce a single barrel of crude. I wonder were Wyoming and the Dakotas will get all that water? cough* Great Lakes *cough

Even with the price of oil, the oil companies won't touch this without major tax incentives. Instead of giving more tax breaks to the oil companies, I'd rather see money pour into universities for alternative energy research.

US refining capacity bottleneck boosts oil prices
By Finfacts Team
Aug 29, 2005, 12:15

Valero Energy Corporation is a Fortune 500 company based in San Antonio with approximately 20,000 employees and annual revenues of $55 billion. One of the top U.S. refining companies, Valero has an extensive refining system with a throughput capacity of approximately 2.5 million barrels per day. The company's geographically diverse refining network stretches from Canada to the U.S. Gulf Coast and West Coast to the Caribbean.
There hasn't been a new oil refinery built in America since 1976 and with existing plants working close to capacity, even a minor outage in a plant can impact the price of oil.

A combination of tight environmental restrictions, not-in-my-back-yard community opposition, and the high cost of new construction has been an impediment to additional capacity.

A new refinery would cost about $3 billion and refining margins have traditionally been much tighter than on the crude production side.

The recently passed Energy Bill omits limited liability protection for MTBE, a petrol additive that pollutes groundwater. Valero, the largest American oil refining group, has announced that it plans to stop producing the additive in 2006 when the new law goes into effect. The loss of 60,000 barrels of petrol per day, will be coumpounded, if other refiners follow suit.

The combination of limited spare crude production capacity and oil refining capacity will continue to bolster prices."

"There hasn't been a new oil refinery built in America since 1976 and with existing plants working close to capacity, even a minor outage in a plant can impact the price of oil."

Minor outage, as in Hurricanes, floods and so on.

Like the headlines on CNN, We Were Warned.

Many, many, many years ago, during the first fuel crisis, but we seem to have forgotten the warnings, and now them coming true, we want a quick fix.