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Department of Natural Resources Cook Inlet Gas Reserves Study


CORRECTED (Anchorage, AK) -  Alaska Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Commissioner Tom Irwin announced that a recently concluded study of available natural gas reserves in the Cook Inlet basin show that sufficient gas reserves remain to provide for the railbelt and Southcentral Alaska's energy needs for the coming decade or more.

Commissioner Irwin authorized this project through the department's Division of Oil and Gas last spring due to public questions about natural gas shortages and concerns over possible energy blackouts this winter.

"Consumers who rely on Cook Inlet natural gas should be aware that although reserves are winding down we still have about 20 percent of the original capacity left," said Irwin.  "The most accessible gas has been produced, and while the basin is not in imminent danger of running out, the remaining gas may carry an increased cost."

The study represents a comprehensive effort to evaluate available natural gas reserves from a geological perspective.  Engineering analysis of well data and geological and geophysical review of well-logs, production and seismic date provide the basis for this study.  Based on this information, energy experts within DNR were able to employ recognized, scientific methodologies to analyze all 28 producing gas fields within the Cook Inlet basin.

"Essentially, we looked at the amount of gas produced from these wells, the amount of reserves and other factors related to the mechanics of the wells and the composition of the reservoirs and the basin to make our assessment," said Kevin Banks, Director of the Division of Oil and Gas.  "By our best estimation there is approximately 1,142 bcf of probable gas reserves remaining in these developed reservoirs.  These reserves estimates don't include the potential from the exploration and production as yet undiscovered resources."

Today's study is limited to evaluating available reserves.  It does not attempt to analyze the economics for continued development within the basin.  "Without increased investment the reserve base for the basin will continue to decline," said Irwin.  "Investments in storage development, reserves replacement and pipeline infrastructure will create additional pressure on future energy prices."

The study is available online at the DNR website at: http://www.dog.dnr.state.ak.us/oil/.  For additional information on the study please contact Kurt Gibson or Kevin Banks at (907) 269-8800.

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