Report from the Public Issues Committee

Title: Report from the Public Issues Committee
Author: Larry Anna, Chairman
Publication: The Outcrop, July 2003, p. 10

Department of Interior’s Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management Rebecca Watson delivered to the Congress in January 2003, a study of U.S. oil and gas resources in five western basins as requested by Congress under the provisions of the 2000 Energy Policy and Conservation Act. Federal agencies developed a national inventory of all oil and gas resources and reserves beneath federal lands in five Western basins as a planning tool for Congress.

The report, titled “Scientific Inventory of Onshore Federal Lands Oil and Gas Resources and Reserves and the Extent and Nature of Restrictions or Impediments to Their Development,” evaluates the Paradox/San Juan Basin; the Uinta/Piceance Basin; the Greater Green River Basin; the Powder River Basin; and the Montana Thrust Belt.

The report provides estimates of oil and gas resources and reserves and an inventory af the extent and nature of limitations to development. The report does not make any policy recommendations in response to its findings. The oil and gas figures are based on U.S. Geological Survey’s undiscovered technically recoverable resource estimates and the Energy Information Administration’s proved reserve calculations.

Key findings of the inventory are as follows:

  • Total area of Federal lands, including split estate: 59.4 million acres
  • Total estimated reserves and undiscovered technically recoverable oil: 3.9 billion barrels (Bbbl)
  • Total estimated undiscovered technically recoverable natural gas: 138.5 trillion cubic feet (Tcf)

Total Available for Leasing with Standard Stipulations:

  • Area: 23.1 million acres (39% of the total study area)
  • Estimated reserves and undiscovered technically recoverable oil and gas resources beneath those lands:
    • 2.2 Bbbl of oil (57% of the reserves and undiscovered technically recoverable oil in the study area)
    • 86.6 Tcf of natural gas (63% of the reserves and undiscovered technically recoverable natural gas in the study area)

Total Available for Leasing with Restrictions on Oil and Gas Operations Beyond Standard Stipulations:

  • Area: 15.2 million acres (25% of the total study area)
  • Estimated reserves and undiscovered technically recoverable oil and gas resources beneath those lands:
    • 1. 1 Bbbl of oil (28% of the reserves and undis-covered technically recoverable oil in the study area)
    • 36.0 Tcf of natural gas (25% of the reserves and undiscovered technically recoverable natural gas in the study area)

Total Not Available for Leasing:

  • Area: 21.2 million acres (36% of the total study area)
  • Estimated reserves and undiscovered technically recoverable oil and gas resources beneath those lands:
    • 0.6 Bbbl of oil (15% of the reserves and undiscovered technically recoverable oil in the study area)
    • 15.9 Tcf of natural gas (12% of the reserves and undiscovered technically recoverable natural gas in the study area)

Copies of the report can be obtained by writing to the Bureau of Land Management, Office of Public Affairs, 1849 C Street, N.W., MS-LS 406, Washington, D.C. 20240. The report is also available on the Internet at http://www.doi.aov/ep-ca/ The Fact Sheet can be found at http://www.doi.gov/factsheet/

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