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Maps of Crude Oil Futures

Charles D. Masters

The "Crude Oil Futures" presentation shows our concept of the quantity of oil possibly present (the combination of conventional demonstrated reserves plus undiscovered recoverable resources) within the areas outlined. The Crude Oil Futures is not as an exploration map but as a perspective on the distribution of world oil. The occurrence of oil is, after all, a function of particular geologic factors that are not everywhere present. Furthermore, large amounts of oil can occur only where the several necessary independent variables (geologic factors) combine optimally.

In the western hemisphere, similar minimal crude oil futures are shown for North America and South America. This similarity is a reflection not of similar geology but rather of the fact that most of the oil has already been produced from North America, whereas South America as a whole (except for Venezuela) possesses a geology less likely to produce oil.

In Europe, Africa, and Asia, four regions are dominant: the Middle East, Libya, North Sea, and west Siberia. Paleogeography and source rock distribution were keys to this distribution--the Middle East and Libya reflecting the Tethyan association, and the North Sea and west Siberia benefitting from the Late Jurassic marine transgression into geographic environments where ocean circulation was restricted by tectonic events.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #91043©1986 AAPG Annual Convention, Atlanta, Georgia, June 15-18, 1986.