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U.S. has great potential to further develop energy sector: API

(Xinhua)

09:03, January 05, 2012

WASHINGTON, Jan. 4 (Xinhua) -- The United States has great potential to further develop energy sector as it owns vast proven energy reserves and undiscovered resources, the American Petroleum Institute (API), a leading industrial organization, said on Wednesday.

If shale gas resources are included, the U.S. has the most technically recoverable oil and natural in the world, more than Saudi Arabia, Brazil and any other countries, said the API in a report, calling for expanding access to domestic oil and natural gas resources.

The association, representing more than 490 oil and natural gas companies, urged the U.S. government to open federal areas that are currently off-limits to exploration and development, including Easter Gulf of Mexico, Alaska offshore and so on.

Since the Energy Information Administration predicted the U.S. would need 16 percent more energy by 2035, the American energy companies had to develop more domestic resources, the report added.

The industry could improve oil and natural gas production by up to 76 percent in 2030 with access to additional area both offshore and onshore, which would generate 1.4 million well-paying jobs, stimulate economic growth and strengthen America's energy security, asserted the API.

"Despite rapidly expanding renewable energy sources like solar and wind power, we'll still need oil and natural gas to supply more than half our energy," said Jack Gerard, President and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute, at a press conference.

Meanwhile, Gerard also urged the Obama administration to approve the U.S.-Canada pipeline Keystone XL as soon as possible, saying the delay of its construction means losing jobs and money.

While the U.S. oil and natural industry has been doing its best to advocate increasing access to domestic energy resources, there is intense opposition from environmentalists. At present, 85 percent of America's offshore acreage is off-limits to development, and 60 percent of federal onshore lands are off-limits.

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