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    Dr. William J. Pike

    It’s late June and, as I type here in Houston, the heat index outside is headed to 110°F. And it is just the beginning of summer. How I wish I was up North, where the mid-day temperatures hover in the mid-60s. Somewhere like St. John’s, Newfoundland, where I was a week earlier, would be perfect. I didn’t go there for the weather however, but, rather, to attend the 2012 Newfoundland Oil and Gas Industries Association (NOIA) annual conference and exhibition. It is a conference I have attended fairly regularly since 1998. The place was abuzz with excitement, due in large part to ExxonMobil’s announcement of the development of the Hebron field in the Jeanne d’Arc basin and Statoil’s announcement that the Mizzen field in the Flemish Pass basin, discovered in 2009, might contain up to 200 million bbl of oil. Statoil will assess the development potential of the field with two new “wildcats” in the area next year. Additional wells may be drilled through 2014. Together, the two fields could contain a billion bbl of oil or more. Canadian Arctic potential. But that figure pales compared to the estimates of potential reserves in the Canadian Arctic. And, there was plenty of buzz about that also. Who wouldn’t be excited by projections that range up to 26 billion bbl of ultimate oil in place (very conservatively – some estimates run several times that amount) and some 230 Tcf of gas (again, very conservatively) awaiting development in the region?

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