1979 Hydrocarbon Economics and Evaluation, Dallas, February 11–13, 1979
During the past 10 years, and particularly since the OPEC price increase since 1973, more and more attention has been directed to the price increase since 1973, more and more attention has been directed to the decreasing availability of oil and gas supplies in the world's total energy picture. Reports from the 10th World Energy Conference in Istanbul and IEA picture. Reports from the 10th World Energy Conference in Istanbul and IEA studies, have a fairly wide range of estimates for the amount of conventional oil which remains in the earth's crust, and the amount of it which is likely to be recoverable allowing for improvements in technology and substantial price increases. The most widely accepted interpretation of these data has led to the conclusion that the physical limits to world oil production may lie in the region of 80 million bpd. I need hardly remind you that these physical limits may exceed the actual amounts which OPEC countries, or any others with potential for net oil exports, may actually choose to produce and export. Out of these technical and political considerations, there has grown a consensus of opinion that oil availability is likely to reach a maximum in the late 1980s, thereafter leveling and even decreasing before the end of the century. As a recent IEA report states:
" Developments in oil producing countries during recent months have demonstrated how difficult it is to predict accurately when such a situation might arise. They have, moreover, shown clearly how exposed the world's oil supply system is, even in the short term, to unanticipated supply disruptions.
Nobody known exactly how much oil remains to be found or how fast it can be found and produced. What is certain, however, is that the world is using oil at the rate of nearly 20 billion barrels every year, and increasing. To maintain the status quo, we therefore need to find at least the equivalent of two Prudhoe Bays every year.