As gas prices climb, opponents of increasing domestic oil production are touting the following statistic to bolster their ‘no new production’ postion:
“Since 2000, drilling on land has increased dramatically – climbing about 66 percent– while gas prices continue to increase.”
What’s misssing? Here are the facts:
· Exploratory and development drilling has increased across the board since 2000.
Drilling of (oil and natural gas) exploratory wells (2000-2007) up 98%;
Drilling of (oil and natural gas) development wells (2000-2007) up 92%;
Drilling of exploratory oil wells (2000-2007) up 138%;
Drilling of developmental oil wells (2000-2007) up 89%.
73% of all exploratory and development wells in 2007 were for natural gas.
· Over the same period (2000-2007), however:
Domestic crude oil production has decreased 12.4%;
Domestic crude oil production has fallen to levels not seen since 1947; and
Imports of crude oil have increased 10.4%.
The 946,000 barrels per day increase in imports is almost as much as ANWR would be producing today if it had not been blocked in 1995.
The Correct Conclusion:
Domestic production levels – not drilling activity – is what matters in honest energy debates.
http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/dnav/pet/pet_crd_crpdn_adc_mbbl_m.htm; http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/dnav/pet/pet_crd_wellend_s1_m.htm; http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/dnav/pet/pet_move_impcus_a2_nus_ep00_im0_mbbl_m.htm;