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Global petroleum resources: A view to the future

Geotimes

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Abstract

It is necessary to periodically reassess petroleum resources, not only because new data become available and better geologic models are developed; but also because many non-geologic factors determine which part of the crustal abundance of petroleum will be economic and acceptable over the foreseeable future. In 2000, the U.S. Geological Survey completed an assessment of the world's conventional petroleum resources, exclusive of the United States. This assessment is different from those before it: Overall the 2000 assessment of potential petroleum resources is higher than previous assessments, largely because it is the first USGS world assessment to include field growth estimates. Based on a thorough investigation of the petroleum geology of each province, the assessment couples geologic analysis with a probabilistic methodology to estimate remaining potential. Including the assessment numbers for the United States from USGS and the Minerals Management Service (MMS), the world's endowment of recoverable oil - which consists of cumulative production, remaining reserves, reserve growth and undiscovered resources - is estimated at about 3 trillion barrels of oil. Of this, about 24 percent has been produced and an additional 29 percent has been discovered and booked as reserves. The natural gas endowment is estimated at 15.4 quadrillion cubic feet (2.5 trillion barrels of oil equivalent), of which only about 11 percent has been produced and an additional 31 percent has been discovered and booked as reserves. The USGS assessment is not exhaustive, because it does not cover all sedimentary basins of the world. Relatively small volumes of oil or gas have been found in an additional 279 provinces, and significant accumulations may occur in these or other basins that were not assessed. The estimates are therefore conservative.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Global petroleum resources: A view to the future
Series title:
Geotimes
Volume
47
Issue:
11
Year Published:
2002
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Geotimes
First page:
14
Last page:
18
Number of Pages:
5