Energy resources available to man today comprise two major classes. They are those of inorganic nature and the forms of energy that are of organic origin. Among the inorganic energy sources are those of atomic and of solar derivation. Included also is tidal energy, and the energy of geothermal (internal heat of the earth) nature. The inorganic sources of energy are unlimited as far as man's use of them is concerned. Part of the first named sources may be derivable from outer space.

The organic energy resources of our earth include the so-called "fossilfuels." Most familiar to us are the various types of coal, and the liquid, gaseous and solid petroleums. They also include substances of petroleum or petroleum-like nature, such as can be derived from oil sands, from bituminous accumulations, and from bituminous shales and limestones.

Energy of organic source has come to us from the geologic past. Through the agency of photosynthesis, the sun's heat energy was preserved originally in the (fantastically) huge volumes of plant and animal matter in the seas, and thence in the sediments. And it was similarly incorporated in the coal, most of which accumulated on the lands. The organic sources of energy, though they are vast beyond any precise estimation, are in reality relatively limited as far as man's very long future needs are concerned.

The writer's assignment is limited to an assessment of the extent of the world's offshore hydrocarbon resources, as is indicated by the title of this paper.

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