Experts dispute figures on Arctic hydrocarbons

Arctic hydrocarbon reserves (

Of 25 Arctic geological provinces studied by the U.S. Geological Survey, 17 are judged to have a significant petroleum potential, USGS representative Donald Gautier said at the ongoing International Geological Congress in Oslo. A number of experts say however that the figures are too optimistic.


The USGS estimates that about 13 percent of the undiscovered conventional resources are to be found north of the Arctic Circle, and that some 300 billion barrels of oil equivalents may be discovered in the area the next decades, a newsletter from the International Geological Congress reads.

The presented figures from the USGS stem from the Survey’s recent assessment on Arctic hydrocarbon reserves.

Far from all experts agree with the presented estimates, however. Mr. Paul Nadeau from StatoilHydro at a congress seminar said that the USGS figures are 2-4 times too high.

-[…] we believe their numbers are too high. That does not matter for the oil companies, but we might end up fooling our governments, Mr. Nadeau said.

Read more about the International Geological Congress at the congress website

Arctic hydrocarbon reserves (



















Prospective areas for hydrocarbon resources (