Introduction: The future of oil supply

Miller, Richard G and Sorrell, Steven R (2013) Introduction: The future of oil supply. Philosophical Transactions A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 372 (2006). ISSN 1364-503X

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Abundant supplies of oil form the foundation of
modern industrial economies, but the capacity to
maintain and grow global supply is attracting
increasing concern. Some commentators forecast a
peak in the near future and a subsequent terminal
decline in global oil production, while others highlight
the recent growth in ‘tight oil’ production and
the scope for developing unconventional resources.
There are disagreements over the size, cost and
recoverability of different resources, the technical
and economic potential of different technologies, the
contribution of different factors to market trends
and the economic implications of reduced supply.
Few debates are more important, more contentious,
more wide-ranging or more confused. This paper
summarizes the main concepts, terms, issues and
evidence that are necessary to understand the ‘peak
oil’ debate. These include: the origin, nature and
classification of oil resources; the trends in oil
production and discoveries; the typical production
profiles of oil fields, basins and producing regions;
the mechanisms underlying those profiles; the extent
of depletion of conventional oil; the risk of an
approaching peak in global production; and the
potential of various mitigation options. The aim is
to introduce the subject to non-specialist readers and
provide a basis for the subsequent papers in this
Theme Issue.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: One contribution of 13 to a Theme Issue ‘The future of oil supply’.
Schools and Departments: University of Sussex Business School > SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit
Depositing User: Nora Blascsok
Date Deposited: 27 Apr 2015 13:01
Last Modified: 27 Apr 2015 13:08
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