Swanson River Oil Discovery In 1957, a remote exploratory well drilled by Richfield Oil Corporation, a predecessor of ARCO, tested at 900 barrels of oil a day, the first significant commercial discovery in Alaska since 1902.
The Alaska Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) constitutes one of the world’s largest untapped resources potentially reaching as high as 26 billion barrels of oil and 132 tcf of natural gas, with the majority being in the Chukchi Sea.
It’s no wonder: Projections show that the area of land and sea that falls within the Arctic Circle is home to an estimated 90 billion barrels of oil , an incredible 13% of Earth’s reserves. Most of the oil that’s been located in this region so far is on the land, just because it’s easier to access.
August 27, 1859
There are 1.65 trillion barrels of proven oil reserves in the world as of 2016. The world has proven reserves equivalent to 46.6 times its annual consumption levels. This means it has about 47 years of oil left (at current consumption levels and excluding unproven reserves).
Today, Alaska is, of course, worth much more than that. The state encompasses 586,412 square miles or more than 375 million acres. 2 Even at a cost of just $100 per acre, that would equate to more than $37 billion .
The United States
The oil and gas industry is the largest component of Alaska’s economy. Nearly 85 percent of the state budget is supplied by oil revenues. The fortunes of Alaska’s oil industry, and therefore many sectors of the economy, are dependent upon world oil prices.
possible and undiscovered), the United States is at the top of the list with 264 billion barrels of recoverable oil reserves, followed by Russia with 256 billion, Saudi Arabia with 212 billion, Canada with 167 billion, Iran with 143 billion, and Brazil with 120 billion (Table 1).
Drilling will also increase oil revenues for the state of Alaska , which is a huge benefit. And drilling oil in ANWR could possibly lower gas prices at the pump. Americans pay a lot of money for gas and for that price to be lowered, even by a little bit, it would be very beneficial.
The Trans Alaska Pipeline System starts in Prudhoe Bay and stretches through rugged and beautiful terrain to Valdez, the northernmost ice-free point in America. The Trans Alaska Pipeline System was designed and constructed to move oil from the North Slope of Alaska to the northern most ice-free port in Valdez, Alaska.
Gold is found and has been mined throughout Alaska ; except in the vast swamps of the Yukon Flats, and along the North Slope between the Brooks Range and the Beaufort Sea. Areas near Fairbanks and Juneau, and Nome are responsible for most of Alaska’s historical and all current gold production.
Edwin L. Drake
Barely seven years after Edwin L. Drake drilled the world’s first oil well in 1859 at Titusville , Pennsylvania, USA , history registered another exploration of the black liquid gold, in the largest continent.