News & AnalysisOIL RESOURCES

Are World Oil's Prospects Not Declining All That Fast?

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Science  10 Aug 2012:
Vol. 337, Issue 6095, pp. 633
DOI: 10.1126/science.337.6095.633

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Summary

Lately the buzz in the oil patch has been all about growing abundance. New, more capable technology is coming on line: mining the oil sands of Alberta, wringing oil from beneath North Dakota by fracking, drilling down to the superdeep deposits beneath the Gulf of Mexico. Then, in June, a new report called Oil: The Next Revolution from a Harvard University researcher really fanned the flames of oil optimism. "Things have changed fundamentally and forever," declared the editors of Oil & Gas Journal, the oil industry's leading publication, on the release of the Harvard report. But the report's upbeat message depends on more than confidence in that fancy—and expensive—new technology.

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