These estimates represent the potential hydrocarbons of an area that can be produced using current technology, without any consideration to economic feasibility. Current technology includes drilling in water in excess of 3000 meters (10,000 feet) deep and to depths in excess of 9600 meters (31,700 feet).
MMS conducts a comprehensive national assessment of the undiscovered oil and gas resources on the OCS every five years. The last comprehensive national assessment was completed in 2000. The national assessments also include estimates for undiscovered economically recoverable resources, which represent the portion of the undiscovered technically recoverable hydrocarbons that can be explored, developed and commercially produced at given costs and price considerations using present or reasonably foreseeable technology. Present technologies include subsea completions and tie-backs, extended reach drilling, multi-lateral completions, and floating production systems.
Interim updates to these assessments, such as the one issued today, are released in response to significant information obtained from new exploration and development activity, and on occasion to incorporate major improvements in methodology and modeling.
MMS utilizes statistical models that incorporate geological, engineering, and economic inputs to estimate the undiscovered technically recoverable resources. The chart below lists the low, mean, and high estimates for the Alaska, Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico and Pacific planning areas of the OCS.
Undiscovered Technically Recoverable Resources (UTRR) on the Outer Continental Shelf:
(Bbbl = billion barrels of oil, Tcf = trillion cubic feet of gas, BOE = total oil and gas in energy-equivalent barrels. LOW indicates a 95 percent chance of at least the amount listed existing. HIGH indicates a 5 percent chance of at least the amount listed occurring. MEAN estimates represent the expected amount. Only the mean values are additive.)
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