Forget ANWR, how about drilling in NPRA?

For more than 15 years drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge has been pitched as a solution to the nation’s energy woes. A small section of ANWR in particular along the coast, known as the 1002 Area, has been proposed for exploration. It’s about 80 miles to the East of Prudhoe Bay, where the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System begins.

NPRA — the other North Slope oil field.

Calls for drilling in ANWR died down after the 2006 congressional elections, but the most recent run-up in oil and gasoline prices is leading to renewed calls.
Watergate burglar and talk radio show host G. Gordon Liddy is scheduled to broadcast his show live from Alaska in July, with the support of Arctic Power, the lobbying group that has spent 16 years and $11 million of Alaskan state money to get Congress to open ANWR.
And today President Bush said American’s wouldn’t be so pinched at the pump if Congress had approved drilling in ANWR when he first took office. He is also saying it’s time to let the drilling begin.
How much oil is in ANWR? No one really knows for sure, but the latest estimate is between 5.7 billion and 16.0 billion barrels within the 1002 area.
One thing you don’t hear much about in this discussion: there’s another bigger chunk of land in Alaska that since after World War I has been set aside specifcally for oil exploration.
The National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska is about 60 miles West of Prudhoe Bay and has actually seen some exploration and production.
How much oil is in NPRA? According to the latest study between 5.9 and 13.2 billion barrels , but again you can’t really tell unless you start to drill.
So if we have a huge chunk of land with a “drill here” sign on it why do we need to open ANWR? Please share your thoughts here.
Of course, it could be said there already has been drilling of ANWR oil, in that the Sourdough formation that Exxon was working on actually would draw oil from formations beneath ANWR.