Resource Constraints in Petroleum Production Potential

Science  12 Jul 1991:
Vol. 253, Issue 5016, pp. 146-152
DOI: 10.1126/science.253.5016.146


Geologic reasons indicate that the dominant position of the Middle East as a source of conventional petroleum will not be changed by new discoveries elsewhere. The share of world crude oil production coming from the Middle East could increase, within 10 to 20 years, to exceed 50 percent, under even modest increases in world consumption. Nonconventional resources of oil exist in large quantities, but because of their low production rates they can at best only mitigate extant trends. Increased production of natural gas outside the United States, however, offers an opportunity for geographically diversified energy supplies in the near future.