We could drill everywhere in the U.S. and not meet our energy needs or reduce prices. The U.S. contains only 3 or 4 percent of the world’s proven oil and gas reserves. As the U.S. Department of Interior has indicated, at the most, only 4 billion barrels of oil reserves lie off the entire Atlantic coast – about a 200-day supply based on current U.S. consumption of 20 million barrels a day.
We do not need to open new areas for drilling. Four times more natural gas is available in areas already open to drilling than in waters protected by the moratorium, and the industry is using only 18 to 20 percent of what it already has access to. These unused areas could produce an additional 4.8 million barrels of oil and 44.7 billion cubic feet of natural gas each day, nearly double current domestic oil production.
The lease holders (mostly major oil companies) control access to these non-productive areas now that they’ve leased them. Where the rub comes is in the notion that the still protected areas offer some dramatically lower-lying or gigantic fruit. Neither is the case. With exceptions (as is always the case) their general profile looks very much like that already leased but undeveloped.
The oil companies point to these exceptions and say, “Look there’s ‘all this’ oil/gas out there, readily accessible, that we can’t get at.” What their real crisis connects to, however, is the rapidly emerging realization that their last best chance (W.) is about to leave the barn, and there won’t be another like him for a while.
Any apparent correlation between drilling these areas and the price of anything going down would be purely coincidental. The available supplies simply don’t match even our own demand, much less that of the rest of the world. And what’s the point then? The global market IS interconnected. ‘Our demand’ is a myth. We have to buy our materials (or at least price them) according to global demand.
It has become evident that, even at very high levels, people truly don’t understand that our weight is no longer big enough to steer the ship by itself. And this doesn’t just involve all the political capital/good will lost while the halfwit has been ‘in charge.’ It has to do with sheer economic scale. Other interests are now larger than us. Especially since those other interests have spent that last 8 years building connections between each other while we stuck one thumb up our a$$, another in our mouth, closed our eyes, and used our feet to throw sh1t everywhere.
There’re two Americans who are going to ‘win’ in the current landscape: whoever comes up with the best commercially viable alternative first (that’s why T. Boone is going there), and whoever figures out how to start making money from Europe and Asia, because they aren’t going to be making it here anymore.