According to conservative estimates by the U.S. Geological Survey, there are over 2.7 billion barrels of oil and 114.36 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in the NPRA.
National Petroleum Reserve Alaska (NPRA) has extremely high quality oil, API 40 to 60. In a day and age when most light crude Mid East exports are API 31 to 37, the NPRA represents not just hi quality, but a viable alternative to the Greenhouse gas intensive Alberta Tar Sands. The EPA says that Tar Sands create 82% more GHG than conventional crude oil production, from well to wheel.
Modern well drilling has come a long way from the rocking arms of Texas, 25 to 30+ wells can be drilled from a single 400 ft by 400 ft pad, vastly reducing the network of roads in environmentally sensitive lands like the Arctic Tundra in Alaska.
So why are oil companies going gaga over the tar sands? Maybe its oil field envy, The Alberta Tar Sands may be as large as the super giant oil field in Saudi Arabia called Gharwar, which produces hi quality light sweet crude (API 31 to 39) where as the Tar Sands has crude with an API of no more than 10.
I think oil companies know once they get the Tar Sands production ramped up, it'll be a money maker for 70 to 80 years. It'll also be game over for global warming.
With improved fuel economy standards, potential fuel-efficient technologies, advanced biofuels and electric vehicles and the effect these would have on crude oil consumption, there is simply no reason to dig up the Tar Sands. When fuel cell technology becomes refined, fuel cell cars will replace electric cars and hybrids. As transportation becomes less oil centric and more electric centric, renewable sources of electricity from solar, wind, hydro, geothermal will replace barrels of oil, there will still be no reason to dig up the Tar Sands.
So the next time someone says they support the Keystone pipeline, because its better to buy oil from Canada rather than from Mid East countries with people who want to kill us, just tell them thats bullshit. Its better to buy hi quality oil from Alaska's NPRA, not that dirty nasty GHG time bomb oil from Alberta.
Over 200,000 people have signed the petition telling President Obama to stop the Keystone pipeline. If you haven't done so yet, please sign the petition to stop the Keystone pipeline.
11:53 AM PT: This diary is a look from an oil centric viewpoint, some may consider it objectionable, Ok. But the diary does show that from an oil centric viewpoint, there is a huge and clear alternative to the Tar Sands, I tried to take the "Drill Smart" angle.
If we use NPRA oil instead of Tar Sands and don't transition to renewables, we'll be forced to look at the Tar Sands again. We need to set initial goals of 20% of electricity from wind in 20 yrs, and the same for Solar. 100 gigawatts of solar and 100 gigawatts of Wind, and 100 gigwatts of renewable storage.
I do advocate for ending our oil dependance. We need to use the coal and oil we have left to build the next generation of renewable energy infrastructure, or else.
The premise of the dairy is a thought exercise for those who cant think outside the oil box. Its not my personal view.