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Because of the acute national situation in regard to oil during the war, the Geological Survey initiated detailed examinations in the summer season of 1944 in a number of the areas that, on the basis of considerable reconnaissance work over nearly half a century were considered most likely to contain petroleum. In 1944 these studies were undertaken in five widely separated localities and similar investigations were continued in 1945. From them and the earlier more general examinations, three large areas are indicated as of most immediate significance. These may be designated as the Gulf of Alaska area, the Alaska Peninsula-Cook Inlet area, and northern Alaska. In each of these regions are a number of structures or other indications regarded as favorable for the possible a cumulation of petroleum and that therefore seem worthy of intensive investigation.
In the Gulf of Alaska area the oil possibilities are confined to rocks of Tertiary age. Farther west in the Alaska Peninsula-Cook Inlet region, Jurassic rocks overlie a Triassic limestone that is presumed to be a possible oil source. In northern Alaska, the Navy Department is exploring the oil possibilities of Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 4 that lies in an extensive tract underlain for the most part by gently folded Cretaceous rocks. The Geological Survey is playing a part in the exploration program of the Navy Department.
Much additional information must be gathered before it is possible to estimate in quantitative terms the potential petroleum resources of Alaska. The determination of the value of these latent resources presents a challenge and the prospective returns well warrant tackling the job of determining the pertinent facts.
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