Oil Resource Estimates - How Much Do We Know?

Arthur, S.P. (1982). Oil Resource Estimates - How Much Do We Know? IIASA Working Paper. IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: WP-82-020

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At the core of the energy problem is the limited nature of the world's fossil fuel resources, especially oil resources. But just how limited are oil resources--how much oil is down there? This question can, of course, never be answered exactly and we are left with estimates. How good are these estimates? How much can we trust them?

Two views on resource estimates have begun to emerge recently. The first, held by a large number of researchers, is that a consensus of opinion has been reached--a consensus at about 2000 billion barrels of ultimately recoverable oil (including past production and known reserves). Studies of possible energy futures tend to accept this figure, erecting long-term energy forecasts and policies upon it. But the consensus view has been vigorously challenged by an opposing view. A few researchers, in particular Odell (1973), Odell and Rosing (3975, 1980), and Schubert (1980) feel that estimates have been increasing steadily, and will continue to do so for some time. This short study takes a critical look at both these points of view, and at oil resource estimates in general, asking in effect: How much do we really know?

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA Working Paper)
Research Programs: Resources and Environment Area (REN)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 01:51
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:10
URI: https://pure.iiasa.ac.at/1995

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