Department of Interior

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For Immediate Release: March 12, 2003

Contact: Mark Pfeifle (202) 208-6416
ANWR Oil Reserves Greater Than Any State
"We can develop energy at home while protecting the environmental values
we all hold dear," Interior Secretary Norton says

(WASHINGTON, DC) - Interior Secretary Gale Norton said that oil reserves in the far Northern Coastal Plain of ANWR represent the nation's largest single prospect for future oil production - greater than any state, including Texas and Louisiana.

Secretary Norton shared statistics about ANWR's energy potential with members of the U.S. House Resource Committee during testimony this morning on Capitol Hill.

"The Administration firmly believes that we can develop energy at home while protecting the environmental values we all hold dear," Secretary Norton said. "The Coastal Plain of ANWR's 1002 area is the nation's single greatest onshore oil reserve. The USGS estimates that it contains a mean expected value of 10.4 billion barrels of technically recoverable oil. To put that into context, the potential daily production from ANWR's 1002 area is larger than the current daily onshore oil production of any of the lower 48 states."

"ANWR could produce nearly 1.4 million barrels of oil, while Texas produces just more than one million barrels a day, California just less than one million barrels a day and Louisiana produces slightly more than 200,000 barrels a day."

Secretary Norton reiterated the Interior Department's support for energy production in the far Northern Coastal Plain of ANWR - the area set aside for possible oil and gas production in 1980 by President Carter and a Democratically-controlled Congress.

"Energy production in Alaska's Northern Coastal Plain will reduce dependence on foreign oil; will create new jobs; is strongly supported by organizations that represent working men and women; and will protect wildlife with the toughest environmental regulations ever applied.

"With American ingenuity and new technologies, we can protect the tundra and wildlife on the Northern Coastal Plain. Protections with bipartisan congressional and administration support include the following: mandated ice roads and runways to protect habitat; strict analysis of each proposed exploration side to avoid sensitive springs, streams, rivers and wetlands; removal of all facilities, structures and equipment and reclamation of all lands effected; and exploration only in the winter to protect breeding, spawning and wildlife migration patterns," Secretary Norton concluded.


Selected Press Releases

Attached is a chart citing the daily oil production in 12 states vs. production in ANWR.

Testimony of Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton Before the House Committee on Resources on the Arctic Coastal Plain Domestic Energy Security Act of 2003

Powerpoint Slide Show (no audio)