24 Feb '12, 5pm

Alaska's North Slope Holds Somewhere Between Zero and 2 Billion Barrels of Shale Oil

Oil drilling has gone on for years on Alaska's remote North Slope, but it has been limited to conventional resource extraction. More recently, however, with the ongoing success (economically, at least; environmentally is another story) of unconventional extraction of shale oil and natural gas in the lower 48 states, there is increasing interest in expanding fossil fuel extraction in Alaska. And now the U.S. Geological Survey has released its first ever assessment of "continuous" oil and gas in the North Slope region. Continuous oil and gas refers to fossil fuels that are still locked up in rocks like shale; conventional resources involve oil or gas that has migrated away from the source rocks. The new USGS report found technically recoverable oil resources of between zero and 2 billion barrels. Natural gas resources lie somewhere between zero and 80 trillion cubic feet, an...

Full article: http://spectrum.ieee.org/energywise/energy/fossil-fuels/a...

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