Push to Restart Oil Exploration

Aug 28, 2017

Ryan Zinke, Secretary of the Interior, signed an order that will assist restarting oil exploration and production in Alaska. Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve is estimated to contain 336 million to 1.7 billion barrels of oil. The Institute for Energy Research applauded Secretary Zinke’s actions saying that the Obama administration erected so “many hoops and barriers getting those resources out of the ground” that it “became cost-prohibtitive.” Alaska’s “1959 Statehood Act recognized natural resource development as critical to the state.” The land “was set up with the sole intention of oil and gas production, however years of politics over policy put roughly half” of Alaskas petroleum reserves off limits. The Trans-Alaskan Pipeline will also get a new lease on life. In its charter, if the pipeline was “no longer cost-effective or profitable” it was required to shut down. The ability to find and extract new sources of oil will mean Alaska will be able to keep putting oil into the pipeline and keep it operating.