Resource Evaluation

  • Introduction to Resource Evaluation Section

    The Resource Evaluation section’s goal is to achieve “regulatory and research excellence through geological, geophysical, and engineering analysis”. The experts in this section of the Division of Oil and Gas provide objective and in-depth interpretations of technical data relating to oil and gas and geothermal exploration and production throughout Alaska, supplying the solid scientific basis needed for the Division to make decisions on managing state lands. The group collects and maintains a vast and diverse collection of both confidential and public domain data. It uses this data, within the strict confidentiality guidelines defined by law, to enhance both internal and public understanding of Alaska’s fossil energy and geothermal resources.

    Key regulatory functions of the Resource Evaluation section include analyzing industry applications regarding Units and Participating Areas; evaluating the prospectivity of lands included in lease sales, exploration licenses, or other land management actions; collecting, interpreting, and managing geotechnical exploration data submitted under the terms of state land use permits and production tax credits; and performing technical reviews for royalty modification applications. When appropriate, Resource Evaluation works with consultants to build and audit static and dynamic reservoir models to understand the distribution of in-place and recoverable hydrocarbons – the basis for determining equitable production allocations. In addition, the section’s technical expertise informs dozens of other steps in the Division of Oil and Gas land management process. The Resource Evaluation section works closely with the Division’s Units, Leasing & Permitting, and Commercial sections, as well as with the Department of Revenue's Tax Division, developing the technical findings that factor into numerous oversight decisions.

    From a research perspective, Resource Evaluation geoscientists and engineers execute special projects as needed to inform both the public and policy makers within state and federal government. Recent examples include reports and briefing presentations on remaining natural gas resources in the Cook Inlet region, the potential for shale oil resource development on the North Slope, and the impact of changing technology on exploring and developing the ANWR coastal plain.

    Finally, geologists and geophysicists from the Resource Evaluation section engage in ongoing collaborative research projects led by geologists from the Energy Section of the Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys. These efforts rely on a powerful synthesis of detailed stratigraphic and structural outcrop studies, surface geologic mapping, and subsurface well and geophysical interpretation to generate valuable new insights into Alaska’s resource potential. Recent and current projects have focused on the North Slope foothills and Colville foreland basin, the Alaska Peninsula back-arc basin, and the Mesozoic to Cenozoic evolution of the Cook Inlet forearc basin and the adjoining Susitna basin. Additional studies are planned in Alaska’s Interior, to evaluate sedimentary basins as potential in-state sources of natural gas. These integrated field and subsurface studies promote exploration, and serve as the basis for much of the section’s outreach efforts to inform new potential explorers about the rich untapped resources in our state.

    Resource Evaluation Documents

    Well Data Submittal Requirements


    North Slope


    Petroleum Systems and Exploration Potential of Northern Alaska
    An Introduction to the Novermber 2012 State of Alaska Areawide Lease Sales (A video presentation by Paul Decker)

    Shale Well Sampler Dataset


    The Historical Resource and Recovery Growth in Developed Fields on the Arctic Slope of Alaska Poster Series

    Current Informational DVDs - Table of Contents

    To order any of the above DVDs, please contact:


    Heather Heusser, Natural Resource Specialist
    Alaska Dept. of Natural Resources – Division of Oil & Gas
    Phone: (907) 269-0137

    For well information databases, please see the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission's site.
    For geological and geophysical publications, please see the Division of Geological and Geophysical Survey's site