As at the time of the previous symposium in 1941, the potential petroleum resources of Alaska still can not be appraised. However, since that report and other general outlook statements,3 some further advance has been made in the several more favorable areas toward obtaining the basic facts necessary for a better appraisal of the petroleum possibilities.
Alaska's small production of petroleum, aggregating about 154,000 barrels, was obtained between 1902 and 1933 from 60 acres near Katalla on the south coast. Production ceased when the small refinery burned in December, 1933. At present the small production from one gas well near Point Barrow on the northwest coast is being utilized and is the only gas production in the territory. Available data on several potential areas indicate prospects for future discovery of petroleum in Alaska and provide an incentive to more extensive investigations for petroleum resources. In three large areas oil seepages, gas, and residues have been known for many years. Reconnaissance investigations in these areas have revealed possible source rocks, formations suitable as reservoir rock, and structures in which accumulation might be possible. Complexity of stratigraphic and structural features, as revealed by reconnaissance examinations, indicates the need for extensive detailed geologic work prior to drilling. Drilling to date appears to be too scant to constitute adequate tests of the petroleum possibilities.
Interest in Alaskan oil resources has been sporadic. The potential south coast fields were explored and some drilling was done between 1901 and 1906. From 1910 to 1920, when land
Figures & Tables
Building upon a 1941 symposium and publication titled Possible Future Oil Provinces of the United States and Canada, this volume contains descriptions of nearly twice as many possible provinces, and discusses additional possibilities in some of the provinces considered in the 1941 publication. The inclusion and exclusion of provinces in this publication were done with the purpose of discussing possible, rather than probably or proved, provinces. The provinces of Alaska, western Canada, Pacific Coast states and Nevada, Rocky Mountain Region, Mid-Continent region, west Texas and eastern New Mexico, Fort Worth Basin, south Texas, Mexico, western Gulf Coast, continental shelf of Gulf of Mexico, southeastern United States, northeastern United States, Appalachian region, eastern Canada, and the eastern Interior Basin are presented here.