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The annual growth rate in domestic and free-world demand for petroleum from now until 1975 can be estimated at 5 and 7.5% respectively, resulting in 19 million and 57 million bbl/day total demand in 1975.
However, the areas which will supply this demand, especially those in the United States, can hardly be determined because of the bewildering variety of political, legal, and environmental factors--as contrasted to purely economic ones--which will be of critical influence. Therefore it is difficult to forecast definitely the areas and the amounts and costs of exploration and development, as well as prices and earnings.
One thing is certain, however, there will be a growing shortage of domestic crude and an increasing dependence on foreign supplies. Both the cost and dependability of the latter are questionable in view of political considerations and the actions of OPEC.
Any interruption of our foreign energy supplies would have a dramatic effect on our economy and security and would show the dangerous results of the lack of a coherent and positive domestic energy policy.
There are very few discovered but undeveloped oil reserves in the United States except on the North Slope, and those probably cannot be made available until 1976. Though the recent NPC-AAPG study indicates almost 200 billion bbl of expectable recoverable reserves, any large increase in exploratory effort to find them cannot have any great effect on our crude deficit before 1975 because of the necessary lead times. It is obvious, however, that steps should be taken immediately to encourage or to cause such an increase so that the period of danger to our economy and security will be as brief as possible.
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