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Scientific Investigations Report 2012–5147

Circum-Arctic Resource Appraisal Project

Assessment of Undiscovered Petroleum Resources of the Arctic Alaska Petroleum Province

By David W. Houseknecht, Kenneth J. Bird, and Christopher P. Garrity

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The Arctic Alaska Petroleum Province encompasses all lands and adjacent continental shelf areas north of the Brooks Range-Herald arch tectonic belts and south of the northern (outboard) margin of the Alaska rift shoulder. Even though only a small part is thoroughly explored, it is one of the most prolific petroleum provinces in North America, with total known resources (cumulative production plus proved reserves) of about 28 billion barrels of oil equivalent.

For assessment purposes, the province is divided into a platform assessment unit, comprising the Alaska rift shoulder and its relatively undeformed flanks, and a fold-and-thrust belt assessment unit, comprising the deformed area north of the Brooks Range and Herald arch tectonic belts. Mean estimates of undiscovered, technically recoverable resources include nearly 28 billion barrels of oil and 122 trillion cubic feet of nonassociated gas in the platform assessment unit and 2 billion barrels of oil and 59 trillion cubic feet of nonassociated gas in the fold-and-thrust belt assessment unit.

First posted November 16, 2012

For additional information contact:
Contact Information, Energy Resources
U.S. Geological Survey
915-A National Center
12201 Sunrise Valley Drive
Reston, VA 20192

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Suggested citation:

Houseknecht, D.W., Bird, K.J., and Garrity, C.P., 2012, Assessment of undiscovered petroleum resources of the Arctic Alaska Petroleum Province: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2012–5147 26 p., available only at




Geologic Setting and Stratigraphy

Source-Rock Systems

Arctic Alaska Platform

Arctic Alaska Fold-and-Thrust Belt

Summary and Conclusions


References Cited

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