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Fact Sheet 0028–01: Online Report
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Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, 1002 Area, Petroleum Assessment, 1998, Including Economic Analysis

thumbnail image of figure 1. Map of northern Alaska and nearby parts of Canada

The Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (1980) established the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). In section 1002 of that act, Congress deferred a decision regarding future management of the 1.5-million-acre coastal plain ("1002 area") in recognition of the area’s potentially enormous oil and gas resources and its importance as wildlife habitat. A report on the resources (including petroleum) of the 1002 area was submitted in 1987 to Congress by the Department of the Interior (DOI). Since completion of that report, numerous wells have been drilled and oil fields discovered near ANWR, new geologic and geophysical data have become available, seismic processing and interpretation capabilities have improved, and the economics of North Slope oil development have changed significantly.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) commonly is asked to provide the Federal Government with timely scientific information in support of decisions regarding land management, environmental quality, and economic and strategic policy. To do so, the USGS must anticipate issues most likely to be the focus of policymakers in the future. Anticipating the need for scientific information and considering the decade-old perspective of the petroleum resource estimates included in the 1987 Report to Congress, the USGS has reexamined the geology of the ANWR 1002 area and has prepared a new petroleum resource assessment.

Version 1.0

Posted April 2001

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