Oops: CNN Contributor Gets Oil Estimate Wrong By 19 Billion Barrels
Whatâs 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 âYour $$$$$â interview August 16.
"Your $$$$$" co-host Christine Romans asked if drilling for more oil would âsolve the problem.â Hargreaves said it wouldnât solve the problem, according to âmost experts.â
âMost experts say, no. Most experts say thereâs not really that much oil there,â Hargreaves said. âYouâre talking about maybe a million barrels offshore, maybe a million barrels in
But the Interior Departmentâs 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. Thatâs approximately 30 yearsâ worth of imports from
CNN senior business correspondent Ali Velshi jokingly opened the discussion with the hyperbolic claim that âwe 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
But Velshi also questioned a common anti-drilling talking point: that new oil wouldnât come online for 10 years and wouldnât affect the price of gasoline in the short term.
âI think thereâs oil right underneath us at $500 a barrel,â Velshi added. âThereâs a lot of oil offshore but some of itâs 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, weâve heard a number of speeches where he said heâs spoken to oil companies and they say inside of a year they can start getting that oil.â
Hargreaves responded by admitting that âyou could get some oil right awayâ particularly from the eastern Gulf of
âThis 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 Frank Newport wrote for the Gallup Web site.