At the end of 1972, offshore petroleum exploration was in progress on the submerged continental margins of 80 countries. Some 780 oil and gas fields had been discovered. Estimated worldwide volume of oil discovered offshore as of January 1, 1973, is 172.8 billion barrels of oil, or about 26 percent of the world total, and 168.4 trillion ft3 of natural gas. Present reserves of oil are 135.5 billion barrels, of which 70 percent is in the Persian Gulf. Some 90 percent of the oil discovered offshore has been found in 60 giant fields having reserves of 500 million or more barrels each.
Additional Publication Details
USGS Numbered Series
The worldwide search for petroleum offshore; a status report for the quarter century, 1947-72