A report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that lifting the ban on federal oil drilling in certain areas could increase U.S. petroleum reserves by 30 percent, including an estimated 8 billion barrels of oil in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).
Using estimates from the Department of the Interior (DOI), CBO said that lifting federal drilling restrictions could bring billions more barrels of oil and gas to market.
“CBO estimates that about 175 billion barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) exists in undiscovered oil and gas reserves on federal lands (excluding most of the natural gas reserves in Alaska)—nearly half of it in the central and western parts of the Gulf of Mexico,” CBO said.
“About 70 percent of the undiscovered oil and gas is under federal control on lands that are currently open to leasing; thus, additional receipts would come from opening the other 30 percent to leasing and production.”
Thus, by lifting federal drilling bans in place in areas like ANWR and areas of the Outer Continental Shelf, oil-producing companies could gain access to an additional 30 percent of U.S. reserves – 52.5 billion barrels.