Парламент Новой Зеландии, Research papers: The next oil shock? (October 2010)

October 2010

Oil discovered per new well is declining. In 17 years between 1963 and 1980, 15,000 wells found nearly 1.5 trillion barrels of oil. In 22 years between 1980 and 2002, 60,000 more wells found half as much new oil. It now takes approximately 10 wildcat wells on average to discover the same quantity of reserves as a single wildcat well would discover 50 years ago.

The diagram illustrates the world’s oil reserves, along with the average daily additions to and the consumption of those reserves.

On average, discoveries add 30 million barrels per day (mb/d) to proven reserves. Technological improvements, which mean that a higher percentage of the oil in reserves can be extracted than in the past add, another 25 mb/d. Discoveries and technological improvements are not enough to offset the drain on those reserves of 86 mb/d. Net reserves are decreasing by about 30 mb/d, meaning there is enough oil with current reserves, rate of production and rate of discovery to last about 80 years.


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