A History of Energy, the Early Years

Ozone Concentration

Check for the Purchase of Alaska (1868)http://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?flash=true&doc=41

The United States bought Alaska from Russia in 1867
for $7.2 million (about $120 million today). While it was
known that oil seepages were common in the territory,
Russia had made no attempt to develop the oil there. The
same was true for many years after America’s purchase.
It wasn’t until the 1890s that the first oil claims were
filed and first wells drilled, but efforts were sporadic,
and Alaska’s distance from markets discouraged many
potential investors. The first major commercial discovery
did not occur until 1957 at the Swanson River Field on the
Kenai Peninsula south of Anchorage. It wasn’t until the
1970s that production really took off.

With petroleum production from the Lower 48 states
entering a decline, a new oil discovery at Prudhoe Bay on
the North Slope of Alaska offered the U.S. the opportunity
for a significant new source of competitive domestic
supply on a world-class scale. Initially, the oil find was
estimated at 9.6 billion barrels, nearly double the size of
the largest field ever previously found in North America.
Despite high costs, hostile climate, logistical challenges,
unsettled land claims and major environmental
challenges, supply from Prudhoe Bay came online in 1977,
offsetting most of the decline in Lower 48 supply through
the mid-1980s.