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Over the last 30 years, there have been about 2 dozen assessments of world oil resources. These may be reduced to about a dozen independent assessments, based on various methods such as historical statistics, geologic analogy, etc. In 1977, there was a major contribution, the Delphi study (27 experts), for the Conservation Commission of the World Energy Conference. A detailed analysis of the answers to the Delphi poll leads to better understanding of the many factors which influence future world oil availability.
The role and relation of the United States are of particular interest. First, most of the assessments have been made by U.S. experts, and a major share of the world geologic expertise belongs to major U.S. companies. Second, because of its maturity, U.S. oil history is most often used as a model for other countries and/or world regions (this was implicitly used in the conclusions of the Delphi results to calculate possible world oil production curves). So, the opinion we have of real long-term oil potential of the United States heavily influences all the assessments regarding world oil resources.
However, it is also interesting to investigate what could be the results of various values of world oil resources on the future U.S. oil situation.
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