National Geographic : 1976 Oct
Two comments on our oil situation. One looks at the size of new dis coveries. The other is awed by our total appetite for oil. Which view is most perceptive? The North Slope strike was America's greatest recent oil find: 9.6 billion sure barrels. And 26 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. In 1977 the line will begin feeding us half a million barrels a day, increasing to 2 million by 1980. And plans to pipe in natural gas are being made. So people ask, "With reserves like this around, is there really an energy problem?" Others cite our massive use of petro leum. Over 16 million barrels daily. Nearly 40% imported. And 21 tril lion cubic feet of natural gas, one trillion feet imported. They point out that the North Slope's 9.6 billion barrel reserve is less than 2 years pre sent oil consumption. We've no guarantee of another major find. With petroleum and natural gas currently providing close to three-fourths of our energy, there is concern. Surely we will find new oil and na tural gas. But demand is growing so 4'fast that new discoveries may not keep pace. Oil and natural gas may be scarce, priced out of sight within our children's lifetime. We must be gin looking to the future now with a realistic and definitive national energy policy. A blueprint that de Sfines the rights and responsibilities of consumers, producers, government. A policy that encourages these bodies to develop and use energy resources for long-term economic and environ mental well-being of the nation. Caterpillar machines and engines are used to mine fuels, prepare plant sites, power drill rigs, build pipelines, restore mined land. We believe a re sponsible national energy policy is essential to America's growth. There are no simple solutions. Only intelligent choices. B CATERPILLAR Caterpillar Catand 0 are Trademarksof CaterpillarTractorCo. "America's daily oil consumption exceeds 16 million barrels."