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This paper presents the results of a study completed in June 1984 that assessed the size, technical categorization, and potential of the U.S. heavy-oil resource base. Based on a proprietary data base containing nearly 1100 heavy oil reservoirs, the study concluded that heavy-oil resources in place in the United States amount to over 100 billion barrels. Heavy oil has the potential to become a significant source of domestic liquid fuel in the near to mid-term. Initial required capital investment for heavy-oil development is on the order of $10,000-20,000 per daily barrel of sustained capacity, considerably less than many other synthetic fuels. The current potential of domestic heavy-oil is about 6 to 7 billion barrels of recoverable reserves and a production rate of 700,000 bbl/d in the early 1990s. Advances in technology will be required to reach the full, domestic heavy-oil potential.

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