Oops: CNN Contributor Gets Oil Estimate Wrong By 19 Billion Barrels
Whatâ€™s 19 billion barrels of oil between friends?
CNNMoney.com writer Steve Hargreaves underestimated the amount of oil available in currently untapped offshore sites by 19 billion barrels during a CNN â€śYour $$$$$â€ť interview August 16.
"Your $$$$$" co-host Christine Romans asked if drilling for more oil would â€śsolve the problem.â€ť Hargreaves said it wouldnâ€™t solve the problem, according to â€śmost experts.â€ť
â€śMost experts say, no. Most experts say thereâ€™s not really that much oil there,â€ť Hargreaves said. â€śYouâ€™re talking about maybe a million barrels offshore, maybe a million barrels in
But the Interior Departmentâ€™s Minerals Management Service (MMS) estimated areas currently off-limits â€“ the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, parts of offshore Alaska, and the eastern Gulf of Mexico â€“ put the amount of energy in these off-limits areas at 19.1 billion barrels of oil and 83.9 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Thatâ€™s approximately 30 yearsâ€™ worth of imports from
CNN senior business correspondent Ali Velshi jokingly opened the discussion with the hyperbolic claim that â€śwe can solve all of that that; we can solve the economic problems of this country if they just let us drill for more oil offshore.â€ť
But Velshi also questioned a common anti-drilling talking point: that new oil wouldnâ€™t come online for 10 years and wouldnâ€™t affect the price of gasoline in the short term.
â€śI think thereâ€™s oil right underneath us at $500 a barrel,â€ť Velshi added. â€śThereâ€™s a lot of oil offshore but some of itâ€™s very expensive to get at. But here is the thing: Barack Obama says 7 to 10 years to get that first incremental drop of oil out of the ground. John McCain, weâ€™ve heard a number of speeches where he said heâ€™s spoken to oil companies and they say inside of a year they can start getting that oil.â€ť
Hargreaves responded by admitting that â€śyou could get some oil right awayâ€ť particularly from the eastern Gulf of
â€śThis poll result suggests that President Bush's proposals this week to end bans on drilling for oil in areas held as off-limits and for opening up leases for oil shale production in federal lands may be generally in sync with majority American public opinion,â€ť Frank Newport wrote for the Gallup Web site.