WASHINGTON, Jan. 11- The National Petroleum Council, a federal advisory committee to the Secretary of Energy, released conclusions that North America’s gas and oil resources are more abundant than previously thought in its report, Prudent Development – Realizing the Potential of North America’s Abundant Natural Gas & Oil Resources.
The Council found that the potential supply of North American natural gas is far bigger than was thought a few years ago and that oil resources are also proving to be much larger than previously thought. Their report emphasized that even with energy alternatives becoming more economically available on a large scale, taking advantage of these natural gas and oil resources is critical.
“These oil resources offer substantial supply for decades and could help the United States reduce, though not eliminate, its reliance on imported oil,” states an NPC letter to the Secretary of Energy Steven Chu.
Citing notable accidents like the Macondo oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and the natural gas pipeline explosion in California, the Council also made a point to clarify that the benefits of natural gas and oil depend on environmentally responsible development.
According to the report, North American oil and gas resources have the potential to meet the highest possible demands in the next few decades, but only if they are developed efficiently.
“The critical path to sustained and expanded resource development in North America includes effective regulation and a commitment of industry and regulators to continuous improvement in practices to eliminate or minimize environmental risk,” states the report.”
More domestic gas and oil development also supports economic growth. According to the Council, more than nine million total jobs are related directly and indirectly to the oil and gas industry.
In summary, the Council concluded that “we have enormous oil and gas resources – of potential value and importance to the nation. There’s enough supply to support national objectives – including our economic, environmental and security interests. The lynchpin to realizing these benefits is prudent development and our recommendations help us move toward these outcomes.”
The entire report can be found here.
The map below shows U.S. locations of shale plays, ore areas of known oil or gas in shale rock.
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