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The National Oil and Gas Assessment of undiscovered recoverable conventional oil and gas resources assigned nearly 36% of the undiscovered U.S. onshore oil resources and 28% of the commercially developable undiscovered oil resources to onshore northern Alaska. Economic screening models were applied to the geologic play assessment to estimate the commercially developable resources. This paper presents the geologic and economic assessment methodology and results; it also focuses on the robustness of estimates of the commercially developable onshore resources to changes in economic assumptions.
With the economic assumptions used in the national assessment, about 60% or 6.49 billion bbl of oil of the recoverable undiscovered resources of 10.76 billion bbl of oil assessed in fields larger than 1 million bbl of oil are estimated to be commercially developable. Changes in facilities costs induced the most significant cost-related response in the commercially developable resource estimates. Price increases or cost reductions that reduce the minimum commercially developable field size to 250 million bbl from the base case size of 380 million bbl added 1 billion bbl of oil to the commercially developable resources. If, through facilities sharing or satellite-field development, the minimum commercial field size is reduced to just below 100 million bbl, estimated developable oil woul increase to 9.17 billion bbl of oil or more than 85% of the assessed recoverable oil in onshore plays.
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