Abstract

This study compares the additions to conventional crude oil and natural gas reserves as reported from January 1996 to December 2003 with the estimated undiscovered and reserve-growth volumes assessed in the U.S. Geological Survey World Petroleum Assessment 2000, which used data current through 1995. Approximately 28% of the estimated additions to oil reserves by reserve growth and approximately 11% of the estimated undiscovered oil volumes were realized in the 8 yr since the assessment (27% of the time frame for the assessment). Slightly more than half of the estimated additions to gas reserves by reserve growth and approximately 10% of the estimated undiscovered gas volumes were realized. Between 1995 and 2003, growth of oil reserves in previously discovered fields exceeded new-field discoveries as a source of global additions to reserves of conventional oil by a ratio of 3:1. The greatest amount of reserve growth for crude oil occurred in the Middle East and North Africa, whereas the greatest contribution from new-field discoveries occurred in sub-Saharan Africa. The greatest amount of reserve growth for natural gas occurred in the Middle East and North Africa, whereas the greatest contribution from new-field discoveries occurred in the Asia Pacific region. On an energy-equivalent basis, volumes of new gas-field discoveries exceeded new oil-field discoveries.

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