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Open OCS Could Add $1.7T to Federal Coffers

The development of domestic oil and natural gas resources in areas that have been kept off-limits by Congress for decades could produce more than $1.7 trillion in revenue for the federal government, create thousands of jobs and bolster the nation's energy security, according to a study released by the American Petroleum Institute (API).

The ICF International study, commissioned by API, said the development of offshore areas that have been subject to a congressional moratorium until this fall, as well as the resources in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) and a small portion of the currently unavailable federal lands in the Rockies, would lift natural gas production by 5.34 Bcf/d by 2030 and would raise U.S. crude oil production by as much as 2.03 million b/d by 2030.

Of the projected 5.34 Bcf/d increase in gas output, the study sees 2.94 Bcf/d coming from the historically restricted areas of the Outer Continental Shelf; 1.73 Bcf/d sourced from ANWR; and 677 MMcf/d coming from off-limit areas in the Rockies.

The additional natural gas output would be equivalent to 61% of expected gas imports in 2030, and the increased domestic oil production would offset nearly one-fifth of the nation's oil imports by that time, the study said.

The API study further estimates that the development of all U.S. oil and natural gas resources on federal lands could exceed $4 trillion over the life of the resources.

"This study underscores how the oil and natural gas industry can enhance America's energy security and help solve our economic problems by increasing production of our nation's vast oil and natural gas resources," said API President Jack N. Gerard.

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