Oil and gas prices depend on the overall market, not just the United States market. If the current administration was to open for instance the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) there is only a small percentage that would actually reach the American market, international companies would also have access to the reserves therefore spreading the amount worldwide. As a result the United States would receive a very small percentage not really making much of a dent on the price of gasoline at the pump. As a result of this logic, it is believed that conservation and technology will reduce the price of energy rather than an increase of raw product.
In addition there is always the cost-benifit point of view, some believe that it isn’t cost efficient to persue this oil considering the amount of product one would recieve.
You have several misconceptions in your post.
International companies would not send any oil they find elsewhere; it would be economic folly to do so when the US, the biggest market, is right there. This is why no crude oil, not one drop, from Alaska goes anywhere but to the US. The myth that foreign companies drilling in the Gulf of Mexico send their oil “home” to other countries is just that – a myth. Not one drop of Gulf oil, whether found by a company from Norway, Russia, Brazil, or any of the dozen other foreign oil companies drilling and producing there – goes anywhere but to the US. There is no doubt whatever that ALL the oil from Alaska would reach the US market, assuming it is economical to do it at all.
It is not relevant how much the US “would receive” anyway – oil is priced globally, and it does not matter whether that oil comes from West Texas or Angola.
There is little pressure that is insurmountable by politicians. However, if Congress and the administration choose to allow drilling anywhere that they control, such as the offshore federal waters, it is not going to make any difference at all in the price of gasoline this summer, and probably not in a significant way ever.
If there are any discoveries in the Arctic offshore, it will likely be at least 5, more likely 10 years before a single drop can come on stream. At that point, the other 524,000 oil wells in the US will have declined in their production rate by some amount — probably a minimum of a quarter barrel per day per well, to a maximum of two barrels per day per well. Call it a decline of one barrel per day per well in 10 years. That’s 500,000 barrels per day that needs to be made up with new discoveries. The most optimistic scenarios for reserves in unexplored US locations would probably do nothing but maintain the status quo in terms of US production. That’s better than nothing, which would just see continuing declines in US production. But it won’t do anything for the price, as long as US consumption rates maintain current levels (about 20 million barrels per day).
If you want to impact the price, get 100,000,000 of your closest friends to drive less – a lot less, like every one (I do mean every one) not driving at al (I do mean at all) a minimum of 2 days a week. Significantly reducing consumption in the US can impact the price. Of course when the price goes down, consumption will go back up. There’s a limit to how long that can continue, and we are near (many say at) that point now.
I also think there are a lot of other pressures that will battle gas price pressure. The oil leak is still fresh in America’s mind, giving environmentalists a much stronger platform to fight drilling. Obama has a lot of people he needs to please, and they most definitely don’t all agree that drilling is best.
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