AUTHORS: Mackenzie, A.
ABSTRACT: Future forecasts of oil, gas, metal and mineral supplies are hopelessly unreliable and usually pessimistic, partly because they take insufficient account of likely future technical advances. However there is a geological basis for asserting a finite life for oil and gas: almost all likely places where oil and gas can form, accumulate and persist can now be accessed and imaged by the latest drilling and seismic technology. Conversely, most minerals and metals occur in many geological settings where technology has not yet advanced to the point where they can be recovered economically: there is no real ceiling on likely reserves and hence they can be regarded as near-infinite. The biggest technical breakthroughs needed to extend oil and gas reserves are for enhanced recovery, especially from tighter reservoirs; while minerals and metal reserves would be best served by breakthroughs in the commercial and in-situ extraction of deeper deposits.
KEYWORDS: Oil, Gas, Metals, Minerals, Exploration, Reserves
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