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U.S. Geological Survey 2011 Assessment of Undiscovered Oil and Gas Resources of the World

Schenk, Christopher J.*1; Brownfield, Michael 1; Charpentier, Ronald R.1; Cook, Troy A.1; Gautier, Donald L.1; Higley, Debra K.1; Kirschbaum, Mark A.1; Klett, Timothy R.1; Pitman, Janet 1; Pollastro, Richard M.1; Tennyson, Marilyn E.1; Whidden, Katherine J.1
(1) U.S. Geological Survey, Denver, CO.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) reassessed the potential for undiscovered conventional oil and gas resources in priority oil and gas provinces of the world in 2011. This study represents a complete update of the assessment of conventional oil and gas resources last published by the USGS in 2000. The USGS approach was to (1) define petroleum systems and geologic assessment units in each of the more than 150 geologic provinces included in the study, and (2) quantitatively assess undiscovered accumulations in each assessment unit. Following the characterization of the geologic framework in each province, a rigorous geologic review was completed, and the assessment was done using the same methodology for all provinces, making the results comparable between provinces around the world. The quantitative assessment of volumes of undiscovered oil and gas resources is based partly on the development of probability distributions for the sizes and numbers of undiscovered fields, which depend upon on a thorough geologic understanding of each province. In provinces with existing oil and gas fields, the discovery and exploration history is used to develop the distributions of sizes and numbers of undiscovered oil and gas accumulations. In frontier provinces, the distributions of sizes and numbers are guided by the application of geologic analogs, which are summarized for similar provinces around the world in a database that can be searched on the basis of several geologic and production attributes. The world was divided into regions for the assessment—Former Soviet Union, Middle East and North Africa, Asia and Pacific, Europe, Canada and Mexico, Central and South America, Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and the Arctic. The assessment of the Arctic was not available in the 2000 USGS Assessment. Volumes of undiscovered oil and gas resources are presented by assessment unit, onshore-offshore, province, region, and world totals.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90142 © 2012 AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition, April 22-25, 2012, Long Beach, California