Murkowski: Cook Inlet Assessment Shows Region’s Promise

"Alaska residents can expect jobs, revenues and energy security benefits"

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today released the following statement in response to the U.S. Geological Survey’s new assessment of natural gas and oil resources in Cook Inlet:

“The new assessment is good news for Southcentral residents. If these estimates prove correct, and if companies continue to invest in the region, we should have a reliable, long-term supply of natural gas to meet local power needs.

“Perhaps the best news is that this new estimate reflects major reserves in state waters and state lands. That means Alaska residents can expect the jobs, revenues and energy security benefits from these resources within just a few years, compared to the endless delays that plague development in federally held areas.

“The problem is obviously one of timing.  How quickly can this expectation of natural gas be developed, when we need it now to keep the lights on in Southcentral Alaska?  While this new assessment holds great promise for the future in Southcentral, we still have a short-term supply problem that needs to be dealt with.”

The USGS estimates Southcentral Alaska’s Cook Inlet contains undiscovered resources of 19 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, about 600 million barrels of oil, and 46 million barrels of natural gas liquids. The agency’s previous assessment of the region in 1995 estimated a mean of just 2.14 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.