- Apr 3, 2019
- Reaction score
- Alaska (61.5°N, -149°W)
- Political Leaning
Trump Administration Opens ANWR for Oil, Gas Leasing; Green Groups to Challenge
Energy Secretary David Bernhardt signed a Record of Decision on Monday to open a tiny part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to leasing. Auctions could take place before the end of the year, said Bernhardt, adding, “Congress directed us to hold lease sales in the ANWR Coastal Plain, and we have taken a significant step in meeting our obligations by determining where and under what conditions the oil and gas development program will occur.”
That “1002 Area” is indeed tiny: Just 2,000 acres would be developed out of the more than 19-million-acre ANWR on the North Slope of Alaska. Development of that area was approved as part of the Trump administration’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. It could eventually provide as much as 10 billion barrels of crude oil.
Even before Carter and the Democratic Party locked up ANWR in 1977 in order to intentionally harm Alaska and prevent development, Alaska has been trying to open the 1002 Area for development. After 40 years of fighting anti-American leftist freaks, Alaska has finally succeeded.
Leasing could begin as early as late this year, but is more likely to take place sometime in 2021. However, development could take as much as a decade before oil begins flowing. They have to build a 90-mile ice-road and extend the trans-Alaska pipeline across the north slope to the 1002 Area in ANWR from Pump Station #1 at Prudhoe Bay near Deadhorse.
According to the USGS they placed the recoverable oil in the 1002 Area at between 4.3 and 11.8 billion barrels (95% and 5% probability range), with a mean value of 7.7 billion barrels. So the prediction of 10 billion barrels of recoverable oil from the 1002 Area is a bit on the optimistic side. Nevertheless, it will effectively double the amount of oil being produced in Alaska. Currently Alaska is producing 490,366 barrels of oil per day (as of 2019). Once ANWR begins production it should increase the amount of oil being transported to Valdez via the trans-Alaska pipeline by at least 500,000 barrels per day. The last time Alaska produced more than a million barrels per day was in 2002.
Contrary to the nonsense being spewed by anti-American leftist freaks, no caribou, polar bears, or any other critters will be harmed by this development. As someone who has been to the 1002 Area and Prudhoe Bay on numerous occasions, I see caribou using the raised pipeline for both shelter and warmth. Congress had mandated in 1977 that sections of the pipeline had to be buried to allow caribou to cross, but watching the caribou herds they really don't care. They cross both under and over the pipeline where ever it suit them. Other than having a small beneficial effect of blocking the Arctic wind (not to mention making them safe from hunters - it is illegal to hunt with a firearm within a mile of the pipeline), the pipeline has absolutely no effect on the caribou, polar bears, or any other wildlife.
According to the Porcupine Caribou Herd Management Report and Plan, Game Management Units 25A, 25B, 25D, and 26C by the State of Alaska:
In 2010, a successful photocensus survey was completed which resulted in a modeled population estimate of 169,000 (SE = 7,384; 95% CI = 153,493–184,403) caribou. Since 2010, the PCH continued to grow to an estimated 197,000 (SE = 13,772; 95% CI = 168,667–225,789) caribou in 2013 and 218,000 (SE = 7,750; 95% CI=202,106–234,808) caribou in 2017. The herd is currently at a historic high since the early 1970s when the first photocensus survey was conducted on this herd. The current estimated annual growth rate is 3.7% and is very similar to that observed from 1972 to 1989.
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, 1002 Area, Petroleum Assessment, 1998, Including Economic Analysis
Alyeska Pipeline - TAPS - Pipeline Operations - Throughput
Porcupine Caribou Herd Management Report and Plan, Game Management Units 25A, 25B, 25D, and 26C