Undiscovered Resources

Every five years BOEM provides a comprehensive assessment of undiscovered oil and gas resources on the OCS.  The results are presented as both Undiscovered Technically Recoverable Resources (UTRR) and Undiscovered Economically Recoverable Resources (UERR).  The assessment utilizes a geologic play-based approach that incorporates a complete analysis of geologic and petroleum system elements for the UTRR, and an assessment of engineering and economic considerations for the calculation of the UERR.  DOI has released an Assessment of Undiscovered Oil and Gas Resources on the US OCS regularly since 1975.

Assessment of Undiscovered Resources on the Nation's Outer Continental Shelf

The 2021 Assessment represents BOEM’s current understanding of the distribution of undiscovered oil and gas resources. It replaces the previous assessment, which was released in March 2016, as the official BOEM accounting of undiscovered resources and will provide an updated technical reference for ongoing environmental review and OCS planning activities.   

 

 


Past National Assessments and Reports to Congress:

 


Regional Assessments

2021 Gulf of Mexico Outer Continental Shelf Assessment Report

2021 Assessment of Technically and Economically Recoverable Oil and Natural Gas Resources of the Gulf of Mexico Outer Continental Shelf: OCS Report BOEM 2021-082

2016 Gulf of Mexico Outer Continental Shelf Assessment

Oil and Gas Resources as of Jan 1, 2014: OCS Report BOEM 2017-005

 

2011 Gulf of Mexico Outer Continental Shelf Assessment

Oil and Gas Resources as of Jan 1, 2009: Fact Sheet
Oil and Gas Resources as of Jan 1, 2009: Full Report

2000 Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf Assessment

Oil and Gas Resources as of Jan 1, 1999: OCS Report 2001-087

1995 Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf Assessment

Oil and Gas Resources as of Jan 1, 1995: OCS Report 99-0034

Table of Contents for the 1995 Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf Assessment

2021 Pacific Outer Continental Shelf Assessment Report

Oil and Gas Resources as of January 1, 2019 - OCS Report BOEM 2021-068

This report documents the 2021 National Assessment of the undiscovered oil and gas resources of the Pacific Outer Continental (OCS) Region of the United States.

2016-assessment-of-oil-and-gas-resources_assessment-of-the-pacific-outer-continental-shelf-1

2016 Pacific Outer Continental Shelf Assessment

Oil and Gas Resources as of January 1, 2014: OCS Report BOEM 2017-053

This report document provides concise summary of the 2016 National Assessment of the undiscovered oil and gas resources of the Pacific Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Region of the United States. 

2014-667-2011-national-assessment-1

2011 Pacific Outer Continental Shelf Assessment

Oil and Gas Resources as of January 1, 2011: OCS Report BOEM 2014-667

This report documents the 2011 National Assessment of the undiscovered oil and gas resources of the Pacific Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Region of the United States. 

The 2011 assessment of the Pacific OCS Region was performed to develop an updated appraisal of the location and volume of undiscovered hydrocarbon resources.  This report serves as a public documentation of the results of assessment.

ocs_report_mms2001-014-1

1999 Pacific Outer Continental Shelf Assessment

Oil and Gas Resources as of January 1, 1999: OCS Report 2001-014

An Expanded Update to the 1995 National Assessment of United States Oil and  Gas Resources

This report provides a summary of oil and gas resources in the Pacific Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Region of the United States as of January 1, 1999. It presents estimates of discovered resources, undiscovered resources, and total resource endowment (the aggregate volume of discovered and undiscovered resources) and discusses the geographic distribution of oil and gas in the Region.

This report expands on and updates some information presented in the Summary and Discussion of Resource Estimates section of OCS Report 97-0019 which documents the assessment of the Pacific OCS Region for the 1995 National Assessment of United States Oil and Gas Resources.

1995_pocs_assessment_mms97-0019-1

1995 Pacific Outer Continental Shelf Assessment

Oil and Gas Resources as of January 1, 1995: OCS Report 97-0019

This report documents an assessment of the undiscovered oil and gas resources of the Pacific Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Region of the United States (i.e., the Federal offshore areas of Washington, Oregon, and California). The assessment was performed as part of a national assessment of undiscovered oil and gas resources in which the onshore and State offshore areas of the Nation were assessed by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the Federal offshore areas of the Nation were assessed by the Bureau in order to develop an updated appraisal of the location and volume of undiscovered resources.

The comodities that have been assessed consist of oil (including crude oil and condensate) and natural gas (including associated and nonassociated gas). Two categories of undiscovered resources have been assessed: undiscovered conventionally recoverable resources are those that can be removed from the subsurface with conventional extraction techniques; undiscovered economically recoverable resources are those undiscovered conventionally recoverable resources that can be extracted profitably under specified economic and technological conditions. Additionally, the total resource endowment consisting of the sum of discovered and undiscovered resources has been estimated.

The assessment of the Pacific OCS Region was performed by a team of geoscientists in Camarillo, California, using a large volume and variety of proprietary and nonproprietary data (including geological, geochemical, geophysical, petroleum engineering, and economic data) available as of January 1, 1995. Data and interpretations from many of the nearly 1,100 wells and 200,000 miles of seismic-reflection profiles in the Region were used for the assessment.

2021 Alaska OCS Assessment Report 

Alaska Outer Continental Shelf Region

This report documents the 2021 assessment of undiscovered technically and economically recoverable oil and gas resources of the Alaska OCS Region.

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BOEM 2017-064 2016a Assessment of Oil and Gas Resources_AKOCSR_BFT_Update
2016a Alaska OCS Assessment

2016a Assessment of Oil and Gas Resources: Alaska Outer Continental Shelf Region

 

  
Undiscovered Oil and Gas Resources, Alaska Federal Offshore As of 2006-1

2006 Alaska Federal Offshore Assessment

2006 Assessment, Undiscovered Resources, Alaska Federal Offshore

  
Undiscovered Oil and Gas Resources, Alaska Federal Offshore, December 2000 Update-1

2000 Alaska Federal Offshore Assessment Update

Undiscovered Oil and Gas Resources, Alaska Federal Offshore, December 2000 Update

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1995AlaskaEndowmentsMMS96-0033-1
1995 Alaska Federal Offshore Assessment

Undiscovered Oil and Gas Resources, Alaska Federal Offshore, as of January 1995

This 531-page monograph with 5 folded plates provides the fundamental data that support the most recent oil and gas assessment of offshore Alaska. The report contains descriptions of computer models, geologic data for offshore basins, and economic models. Assessment results are also reported and compared with past assessments. Individual chapters describe the petroleum geology of the Chukchi shelf, Beaufort shelf, Hope basin, Navarin basin, North Aleutian basin, St. George basin, Norton basin, St. Matthew-Hall basin, Cook Inlet, Gulf of Alaska shelf, and Shumagin-Kodiak shelf assessment provinces.

The 1995 assessment results identify areas of high potential for undiscovered oil and gas that are in turn used to guide development of OCS leasing strategies. The monograph shows that the highest near term economic potential occurs in the Beaufort shelf and Cook Inlet assessment provinces. Chukchi shelf has favorable geologic potential, but its economic potential is constrained by severe capital costs exploration and development.

An executive summary of the results of the 1995 assessment was previously published as OCS Report MMS 96-0033, Endowments of Undiscovered Conventionally Recoverable and Economically Recoverable Oil and Gas in the Alaska Federal Offshore.

Geologic Summary Reports for the Alaska OCS Region

  
MMS-89-0097

OCS Report MMS 89-0097

MMS 89-0097 – Geologic Report for the Shumagin Planning Area

 

  
MMS87_0046ChukchiSea-1

OCS Report MMS 87-0046

 

MMS 87-0046 – Geologic Report for the Chukchi Sea Planning Area

 

  
MMS87_0030StGeorge-1

OCS Report MMS 87-0030

 

MMS 87-0030 – Geologic Report for the St. George Planning Area

  
MMS86_0033NortonBasin-1

OCS Report MMS 86-0033

 

MMS 86-0033 – Geologic Report for the Norton Basin Planning Area

  
MMS-85-0045

OCS Report MMS 85-0045

 

MMS 85-0045 – Geologic Report for the Navarin Basin Planning Area

Resources and Publications

Cover
2021 Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf Assessment Report - coming soon
BOEM OCS Report 2016-071-1

2016 Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf Resource Inventory

Inventory of Technically and Economically Recoverable Hydrocarbon Resources of the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf as of January 1, 2014: BOEM 2016-071

Assessment-of-Oil-and-Gas-Resources-2014--1

2014 Update to Atlantic OCS Assessment

Assessment of Undiscovered Technically Recoverable Oil and Gas Resources of the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf, 2014 Update: BOEM RED 2014-01

Inventory of Undiscovered Technically Recoverable Oil and Gas Resources of the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf, 2009-1

2011 Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf Assessment (OCS)

Assessment of Undiscovered Technically Recoverable Oil and Gas Resources of the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf 2011 as of Jan 1, 2009: BOEM 2012-016

Tables for the 2011 Atlantic OCS Assessment

2000 Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf Assessment-1

2000 Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf Assessment

Oil and Gas Resources as of Jan 1, 1999: OCS Report 2001-087

mms_99-0034

1995 Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf Assessment

Oil and Gas Resources as of Jan 1, 1995: OCS Report 99-0034

Table of Contents for the 1995 Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Continental Shelf Assessment