Chevron has announced the discovery of an oil field off the coast of Louisiana that could rival the Prudhoe Bay field (Alaska North Slope) in size. This does not mean that the United States will soon have a source of cheap petroleum: the well was drilled in 7000 feet of water, down to a total depth of 28,000 feet below sea level, and the field will cost billions of dollars to develop over the next few years.
The bottom line is that even if the reserves of the field are at the upper limit of estimates—around 15 billion barrels—it contains less than a three year supply for the United States. We will continue to be dependent on oil from overseas (unstable places like Venezuela, Nigeria, and the Middle East). For the sake of national security, the U.S. must have an energy policy that emphasizes conservation and alternative energy sources.
Even aside from national security, the Biblical mandate to be stewards of the Earth ought to be driving us towards conservation.
NASA image of an offshore oil rig
The news story can be found at:
Grace and Peace