Some of the potentially richest new oil fields are right in Americas backyard and not in Alaska, says an international oil executive.
In a 60 MINUTES interview with Lesley Stahl, Lord John Browne, the CEO of British Petroleum/AMOCO, says, The deep-water, Gulf of Mexico part of the United States, is probably one of the greatest new oil provinces in the entire world. The interview will be broadcast Sunday at 7 p. m. ET/PT.
Browne also believes theres more oil to be pumped from there than from all of Alaska. Its so promising that, in a few years, the Gulf should be providing just as much oil an estimated 1.75 million barrels per day as the U.S. now imports from Saudi Arabia.
But will the U.S. ever become oil rich enough to provide for all its needs?
Absolutely not. Its not possible, says Browne. America is estimated to hold only three percent of the worlds proven oil resources but consumes about 25 percent of all the oil produced most imported from 50 countries, he says. The U.S., thanks mostly to millions of autos and gas-guzzling SUVs, uses so much oil that Saudi Arabias contribution is just 9 percent of its daily consumption.
Independence from oil producing countries, especially those in the oil-rich Middle East, wont happen unless drastic changes take place, changes that have begun, but proceed at a snails pace.
According to Toyotas James Olson, an electric car that runs on hydrogen could lead to an almost oil-free future for Americans. But theres a lot to do, he concedes. That includes changing gas stations to hydrogen stations, gasoline refineries to hydrogen factories, all of which could take up to 40 years before most people are driving such vehicles.
Hybrids, cars that run on both gasoline and electricity, are available now, theyre just not what SUV-happy Americans want and therefore not big in automakers plans. Sales of Toyotas Prius, a hybrid that gets more than 50 miles per gallon in city driving, constitute less than 1 percent of its U.S. sales.
Conservationists also like the Prius for its emissions. When you drive a Prius in Los Angeles, the exhaust coming out of the tailpipe is cleaner than the ambient air most days, he tells Stahl.
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