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Conservationists: Fed's Onshore Oil and Gas Inventory is Incomplete

November 30, 2006

Denver, CO - Environmental groups are criticizing a new report from the federal government that inventories the nation's oil and gas reserves on federal land, saying it will be used as a tool to reduce or remove drilling restrictions on these lands.

The Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) report this week states that the potential to develop these oil and natural gas reserves, in Colorado and across the country, suffers from limited access. Pete Morton, an economist with The Wilderness Society, believes that the BLM surveyors did not accurately account for the vast resources already available on federal lands.

"They're leaving out producing oil and gas fields, proven reserves that are already discovered and are economically viable, so it's an incomplete inventory of our oil and gas resources."

The inventory was required by the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and expands on an earlier report published in 2003. It surveyed 11 oil and gas basins from Alaska to the Appalachians, including the sprawling Denver Basin.

Morton says the inventory also fails to note that recovering oil and gas in the Rocky Mountain region isn't always practical.

"There have been two reports recently that estimated between only 20 and 40 percent of the technically recoverable gas is actually economical to recover."

The inventory report is available online at

Eric Mack, Public News Service - CO