Nation

US oil advisory panel says Arctic drilling needed now

WASHINGTON — The United States should immediately begin a push to exploit its enormous trove of oil in the Arctic waters off Alaska or risk a renewed reliance on imported oil in the future, an Energy Department advisory council said in a study submitted Friday.

The nation has drastically cut imports and transformed itself into the world’s biggest producer of oil and natural gas by tapping huge reserves in shale rock formations. But the government predicts that the shale boom won’t last much beyond the next decade.

Advertisement

In order for the United States to keep domestic production high and imports low, oil companies should start probing the Artic now because it takes decades of preparation and drilling to bring oil to market, according to a draft of the study’s executive summary.

‘‘There will come a time when all the resources that are supplying the world’s economies today are going to go in decline,’’ said Rex Tillerson, chief executive of Exxon Mobil and chairman of the study’s committee. ‘‘This is will be what’s needed next. If we start today it’ll take 20, 30, 40 years for those to come on.’’

Get Ground Game in your inbox:
Daily updates and analysis on national politics from James Pindell.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

The study, produced by the National Petroleum Council at the request of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, comes at a time when many argue the world needs less oil, not more. US oil storage facilities are filling up, the price of oil has collapsed from over $100 a barrel to around $50, and prices are expected to stay low for years.

At the same time, scientists say the world needs to drastically reduce the amount of fossil fuels it is burning in order to avoid catastrophic changes to the Earth’s climate.

The council, which is made up of energy company executives, government officials, analysts, and nonprofit organizations, said the technology to operate safely in the region is available now.

Loading comments...
Real journalists. Real journalism. Subscribe to The Boston Globe today.
You're reading  1 of 5 free articles.
Get UNLIMITED access for only 99¢ per week Subscribe Now >
You're reading1 of 5 free articles.Keep scrolling to see more articles recomended for you Subscribe now
We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles.
Continue reading by subscribing to Globe.com for just 99¢.
 Already a member? Log in Home
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com