Why Shell is betting billions to drill for oil in Alaska
Posted: May 24, 2012 Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: Alaska, off shore exploration, Oil, Policy
The stakes are huge — for Shell, for the environment and for the oil industry
Reporting from Fortune, Alaska, Jon Birger at CNN Money gives a colorful and interesting look at Shell’s oil exploration gamble 100 miles off the coast of Barrow.
Geologists have long-considered the area to have huge hydro carbon potential — estimated at 27 billion barrels of recoverable oil by U.S. government geologists — just as it does in the neighboring Arctic Wildlife Refuge. But while the Arctic Wildlife Refuge is still out of bounds for energy companies, the Obama Administration will make these frigid waters the first new offshore drilling project approved by the government since the 2010 BP (BP) disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, Birger says.
“The stakes are huge — for Shell, for the environment, for the oil industry, and for the oil-addicted U.S. economy. The fact is, oil demand is soaring. Worldwide oil consumption is now running at 89 million barrels a day, according to the International Energy Agency. Not only is that up 6% from the lows of the recession — a big increase given tight supplies — but it’s also above the pre-recession peak of 87 million barrels notched in 2008.”