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Capitol Crude: The US Oil Policy Podcast

The great ANWR mystery: How much oil is really there?

January 08, 2018 (10:16 mins)



Meghan Gordon and Brian Scheid

On this week’s Capitol Crude, Senior Editor Brian Scheid looks at one of the greatest mysteries in the US oil industry.

In 1986, Chevron, BP and two Alaska Native corporations drilled a single well about 15 miles from the remote Alaska village of Kaktovik. More than three decades later, it remains the only well ever drilled in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. But the well’s results have remained top secret.

With drilling in ANWR now approved for the first time in decades, attention has turned again to the mysterious results of this lone well and what it may tell us about the refuge’s oil potential.

David Houseknecht, a senior research geologist with the US Geological Survey, and Alex DeMarban, a reporter with the Anchorage Daily News, discuss the mystery, why no one’s talking and the elaborate methods which have been used to keep the data locked away.


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