DATABASE: Future Oil Fields of America

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Science  10 Jan 2003:
Vol. 299, Issue 5604, pp. 179
DOI: 10.1126/science.299.5604.179b

Amid debates over topics such as America's dependence on foreign oil and what to do about global warming, a crucial piece of information is how much fossil fuel remains in the United States. For the latest data, check out the U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS's) National Oil and Gas Assessment.

The site provides estimates of undiscovered oil and natural gas deposits—beyond known reserves—for more than 60 geological provinces in the United States. Most of the reports date from 1995, the last comprehensive national stocktaking, but USGS continues to post updated values for “priority areas.” For example, new estimates include the Powder River Basin of Wyoming and Montana (1.5 billion barrels of oil). You can also find the most recent (1998) estimates for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska, whose coastal region could harbor more than 11 billion barrels of recoverable oil. Last year, the Senate blocked the Bush Administration's controversial plan to allow drilling within the reserve.

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