Global Resources and Prediction
MASTERS, CHARLES D., U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA
Global petroleum resource understanding has been a critical objective ever since the dawn of the hydrocarbon era. Not until the late 1930s was there more than an inkling of the Middle East giant that now dominates world petroleum-resource occurrence. Then, exploration was driven by political availability and surface expressions. Only the courageous dared to assess world potential.
Indeed, responsible world assessment was not a practical reality until certain model basins were developed sufficiently for analysts to probed the dynamics of oil occurrence and to witness the cultural phenomenon of field reserve growth over time. Along with newly derived concepts of resource origin and its relation to plate tectonics, we can now identify four realms of the world--Tethyan, Boreal, South Gondwana, and Pacific--where vastly different petroleum geology conditions obtain. Given this theoretical backing, the major controlling elements can be predicted from geologic reasoning plus the great wealth of world geology understanding acquired over the years. Quantitative values can be derived from any of several deterministic, analogue, or statistical procedures.
AAPG Search and Discovery Article #91007© 1991 AAPG International Conference, London, England, September 29-October 2, 1991 (2009)