The media was all atwitter about the announcement that Alaska might be the next oil boom province, based on a new report from IHSMarkit which estimated that 28 billion barrels of recoverable resources remain in the Alaskan North Slope (where supergiant Prudhoe Bay lies), as well as significant amounts of natural gas (geologically significant, but unfortunately not economically significant). This, the firm estimates, could lead to a 40% increase in crude production in the next eight years. That would amount to 200 thousand barrels per day, not very significant on a global scale, but important for the state and nation. The 28 billion barrels estimate will no doubt be broadly misinterpreted. Pessimists will note it amounts to only one year of global oil production, while optimists will point out it represents 150% of past Alaskan production and 15 times current reserves. Both points of view are valid, but not […]