A company will reckon as best it can, then when it finds a field will conscientiously refigure, only to find development cost is a bit higher, prices a bit lower, taxes a bit heavier -- so that it would have been better off never having gone to the North Slope in the first place.
-- Morris A. Adelman, professor of economics, MIT
White House Cabinet Task Force, 1971
This quote begins the epilogue of the book, The Last Alaskan Barrel: An Arctic Oil Bonanza that Never Was, by John M. Miller. The Last Alaskan Barrel is the story of Alaska's fifty-year experiment with North Slope oil and gas and its associated risks and rewards as an investment.
Speech at Arctic Imperative Summit June 2011
Book Review: Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
During his 26-year career with Atlantic Richfield Company (ARCO), John M. Miller managed long range planning, business development, and operations in the U.S., Norway, Japan, Korea, China, and Indonesia. For more than a decade, he directed Alaskan megaprojects budgeted at billions of dollars. He also chaired the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) Owners Committee.
It is assumed that oil companies cannot wait to "drill, baby, drill" on Alaska's North Slope. On the contrary, in light of the first fifty years of the Alaska North Slope experience, it is becoming increasingly likely that the bulk of any remaining petroleum resource will remain undeveloped.