ANWR is about to be developed but there is one question remaining. Is there really oil there. A test well drilled many years ago failed to yield any oil. The report remained hidden for years. The thing you have to realize that even in the richest fields, it’s possible to come up dry and it often happens.
But, a geologist who has been working exploring for oil for decades says there is no doubt about the oil being there. They are predicting the field could yield billions of barrels of oil and a tremendous amount of natural gas. Environmentalists are still trying to block the drilling.
The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge’s (ANWR) coastal plain, or 1002 area, could hold billions of barrels of oil and natural gas, but the results of the only test well drilled in the refuge has been kept secret for decades.
The New York Times recently tried to pierce the veil of secrecy of the 1986 test well, called KIC-1, by looking through court documents filed in Ohio and talking with the attorneys involved in the case.
After deposing a BP executive, Silverman told The Times he remembered being convinced “either there was no oil and gas there, or the oil couldn’t be produced at an economic value.” That sentiment was echoed by a BP executive and a lawyer The Times spoke to.
The Times’s April 2 piece will no doubt be seized upon by opponents of ANWR drilling, but the question remains: How much can one really know about ANWR’s oil and gas potential from one test well?
Oxford-educated geologist Roger Herrera was first sent by BP to look for oil and gas in the Alaskan Arctic in the 1960s, including ANWR’s coastal plain. He said it was “absolute nonsense” to judge ANWR based on one confidential test well.