Various recent energy studies and estimates of ultimate petroleum reserves, especially in the United States, make a realistic evaluation of the future petroleum supply and demand situation on a world-wide basis both pertinent and timely.
Adequate energy supplies are obviously of critical importance in maintaining, to say nothing of increasing, the world's living standards. Oil and natural gas now supply most of the U.S. energy requirements and a large part of the energy requirements of the entire Free World. The proportion supplied by petroleum in the Free World will probably continue to increase for at least another generation. A comparison with the U.S. is helpful in forecasting future Free Foreign requirements, in which natural gas will probably play an increasingly important role. Py 1975, U.S. consumption should be about 13 million B/D and Free Foreign consumption about 24 million B/D.
To supply these requirements and maintain a safe margin of reserves and producing capacity, about 200 billion barrels must be added to Free World proved reserves over the next 12 years. The ability of the U.S. to supply even 80% of its 1975 crude oil requirements from domestic sources at present prices is debatable, but other sources of oil are available and no world-wide shortage is likely. Free Foreign productive capacity and reserves will be more than adequate to supply Free Foreign requirements and to supplement U.S. domestic supplies as necessary, if the oil companies operating internationally are permitted a reasonable degree of freedom to discover new oil deposits and to match supplies against demands.