A msg. from the USGS for the Oil Bulls

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Global reserve growth nearly equals undiscovered resources

USGS Director Charles (Chip) Groat announced the release of U.S. Geological Survey World Petroleum Assessment 2000-Description and Results, USGS Digital Data Series


Contact: Carolyn Bell cbell@usgs.gov 703-648-4463 United States Geological Survey USGS releases World Petroleum Assessment 2000

Global reserve growth nearly equals undiscovered resources

USGS Director Charles (Chip) Groat announced the release of U.S. Geological Survey World Petroleum Assessment 2000-Description and Results, USGS Digital Data Series - DDS-60. These estimates of the volume of oil and gas, exclusive of the U.S., are those that may be added to the world's reserves in the next 30 years. Overall there is a 20 percent increase in undiscovered oil and a slight decrease in undiscovered natural gas. The big news is that potential additions to reserves from reserve growth are nearly as large as the estimated undiscovered resource volumes.

"The USGS undertook this world petroleum assessment to provide impartial, scientifically based petroleum-resource information essential to the economic and strategic security of the United States," Groat said. "The results have important implications for energy prices, policy, security, and the global resource balance and will provide a foundation for additional geologic, economic, geopolitical, and environmental studies." The assessment is organized into a four CD-ROM set. The first three CD-ROM's present detailed results of the assessment as well as extensive documentation of the methodology used. The final CD-ROM contains additional archival information helpful for those who wish to do further analysis of their own. Lastly, they contain brief summaries of the assessment units that are identified in the eight regions, including descriptions of general geology, source rocks, petroleum maturation and migration, reservoir rocks, traps and seals, and a listing of key references. The data are available on the web at http://energy.cr.usgs.gov/ . This release of the complete report and supporting documentation provides detailed results for 246 geologically based assessment units that are significant on a world scale in terms of known petroleum volumes, geologic potential for new petroleum discoveries, and political or societal importance. For each assessment unit, allocations of undiscovered resources were made to the countries, geologic provinces, regions, and offshore areas involved. From these allocated portions, aggregations of estimates were made for other entities such as countries in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The United States was not reassessed in this study; estimates previously made by the USGS in 1995 and the Minerals Management Service in 1996 were used for comparative purposes. The USGS World Petroleum Assessment 2000 has benefited from information and support received from 35 industry, academic, and government agency members of the World Energy Consortium. With the evolution of technology and new understandings of petroleum systems, this report is the first of its kind to provide a rigorous geologic foundation for estimating undiscovered energy resources for the world. As the nation's largest water, earth and biological science, and civilian mapping agency, the USGS works in cooperation with more than 2,000 organizations across the country to provide reliable, impartial scientific information to resource managers, planners, and other customers. This information is gathered in every state by USGS scientists to minimize the loss of life and property from natural disasters, contribute to the sound conservation and the economic and physical development of the nation's natural resources, and enhance the quality of life by monitoring water, biological, energy, and mineral resources. ### In-depth information about USGS programs may be found on the USGS home page at http://www.usgs.gov . To receive the latest USGS news releases automatically by e-mail, send a request to listproc@listserver.usgs.gov .

-- Anon (anon@anon.anon), June 14, 2000


Misleading USGS Report by Colin Campbell Oil Crisis News from Around the World

Santa Cruz, CA,  March 25, 2000  SolarQuest. iNet News Service  Dr. Campbell provides these comments on the US Geological Survey Press Release of March 22, 2000, "USGS Reassesses Potential World Petroleum Resources: Oil Estimates Up, Gas Down."

The USGS has released a most unfortunate preliminary statement of its latest study of world oil. But we have been there before. Let us not forget that McKelvey, a previous director of the USGS, succumbed to government pressure in the 1960's to discredit Hubbert's study of depletion, which was subseqently vindicated in the early 1970's after US production actually peaked as Hubbert had predicted. It did so by assuming that all the world's basins would be as prolific as Texas in a very damaging report by Bernardo Grossling that successfully misled many economists and planners for years to come. This conspiracy was unearthed by a Senate Investigating Committee and is a matter of public record. [The National Energy Conservation Policy Act of 1974, Hearings before the Subcommittee on the Environment of the committee on Interior and Insular Affairs, House of Representatives, June 6, 1974.]

It is no coincidence that the present press release appeared on the eve of a critical OPEC meeting. By issuing these bald numbers they seek to stake a position without revealing the definitions or detailed assumptions behind the study that could be contested.

To claim that Europe can find 22 Gb more oil is utterly implausible on the basis of the past discovery rate. But I too could easily deliver such a number by taking every undrilled prospect and attributing a 5-10% probability of success to it. No geological assessor will ever give a zero probability, despite the fact that most prospects fail absolutely and many basins turn out to be barren.

Adding up a large number of low probability estimates will give a high number but it is a statistically flawed procedure as only mean estimates may be summed.

It is curious that technology has made great advances over the past years; that the USGS has increased its estimates, but that actual discovery should have fallen.

When the details become available, we will probably find that the USGS has denied itself critical knowledge of discovery rate. As in the past, they will no doubt protect their professional integrity by carefully chosen qualifying words in the accompanying text.

In any event it is an exceedingly unfortunate development, especially as they are also seeking now to influence the International Energy Agency, which recently did manage to come out with a sound assessment (World Energy Outlook), however obliquely stated.

It is ironic that OPEC puts out excessive numbers to discourage western investments in renewables, energy saving, etc., and the US does the same thing to try to undermine OPEC's confidence.


-- Cave Man (caves@are.us), June 14, 2000.

Cave Dweller:

I think that I will go with the USGS on this one. Choice is a reliable stable and known group and an unknown scaremonger on the web. Y2k should have taught some people something. Guess not.

-- DB (Debunker@nomore.xx), June 14, 2000.

DB (aka CPR):

Right. And the Earth is not getting warmer, and the DOW will hit 15000 this year, and the two faced kitten will grow up to be a healthy cat.

-- Daisy Numbered (for@oil.gas), June 14, 2000.

DB, Colin J. Campbell's education and experience are impeccable:

After being awarded a Ph.D at Oxford in 1957, Dr Campbell joined the oil industry as an exploration geologist. His career took him to Borneo, Trinidad, Colombia, Australia, Papua New Guinea, the USA, Ecuador, United Kingdom, Ireland, and Norway.

He is now an associate of PetroPlan, advising governments and industry. He has published extensively, and his recent articles have stimulated lively debate. His views are provocative yet carry the weight of a wide international experience.

-- Cave Man (caves@are.us), June 15, 2000.

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