Amid rising gas prices and political pressure, President Barack Obama is looking to expand offshore drgilling in Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico in an effort to expand U.S. oil production. In his weekly radio address, the President outlined some plans to boost domestic oil output.
''I am directing the Department of Interior to conduct annual lease sales in Alaska's National Petroleum Reserve, while respecting sensitive areas, and to speed up the evaluation of oil and as resources in the mid and south Atlantic,'' Obama said in the address, according to Reuters.
Alaska's National Petroleum Reserve is believed to 53 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 896 million barrels of conventional, undiscovered oil, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The area is close to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), which the White House remains opposed to drilling.
The comments from the President come as Royal Dutch Shell (RDS-A) has been working with the Interior Department to push its plans to drill in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas in Alaska's Arctic region.