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Press Release

Digging Into the Data, Members Examine Federal Government’s Outdated Methods for Energy Resource Assessments

Today, the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources held an oversight hearing on the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management's (BOEM) assessment of domestic offshore energy reserves. Subcommittee Chairman Pete Stauber (R-Minn.) issued the following statement in response:

"The United States is blessed with significant oil and gas reserves, yet the full extent of these resources remains partially untapped and, in some cases, inadequately understood. This is especially problematic as we work to restore American energy independence, create jobs for American energy workers, and compete against foreign adversarial nations, such as Russia and China. During Energy Week in the House of Representatives, I am glad the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources is holding a hearing to identify what can be done to better identify and utilize our offshore resources on the Outer Continental Shelf. In doing so, I believe we are helping to unlock new prosperity, strengthen national security, and advance American energy dominance."


BOEM is responsible for publishing a comprehensive assessment of America's undiscovered offshore energy resources on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) every five years. Accurate assessments are crucial for informed decision-making on future resource exploration and development. The most recent plan, published in 2021, has been scrutinized for relying on outdated methodology and inadequate instruments. 

As technology has developed and redefined the limits of offshore energy development, resource estimates for accessible oil and gas reserves have stayed the same or even decreased. This discrepancy is noteworthy as current production levels frequently surpass these estimates, thanks to innovations that enhance the efficiency of oil and gas extraction. Furthermore, these advancements have enabled American operators to extract some of the world's cleanest oil, setting a new standard and increasing support for U.S. oil production over international operators. 

As China, Russia and members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries have increased production of oil resources to diminish U.S. market share, precise and accurate assessments of our domestic energy resources are increasingly important. Such evaluations not only guide future development strategies but also influence the U.S.'s standing in the global energy market. Without  the use of modernized methodology, these surveys will remain outdated and inaccurate.

Today's hearing was a chance for members to hear from representatives from BOEM and the energy surveying industry and ask them questions about the assessments of the U.S. available oil and gas reserves beneath the ocean floor and how we can improve and modernize the U.S.’ energy assessments. 

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