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By the end of 1982, 319 giant oil fields plus at least 159 giant gas fields had been discovered. Total ultimate recovery of these fields amounts to 847 billion bbl of oil and over 2,362 tcf of natural gas.
The numbers and reserve potentials of giant oil fields are considered reasonably accurate. It is most likely that many giant fields remain to be discovered worldwide.
Giant gas fields and reserves are certainly understated when costs of transportation to market are not considered. But, using an economic definition that requires demonstrated development activity, the giant gas data may be significantly overstated.
The rate of giant field discoveries has been declining, and has been low for the past decade; political restrictions and economic constraints have contributed more to this decline than have technical criteria. Less expensive energy sources may arrive before the remaining geologically favorable areas are thoroughly explored for oil and natural gas.
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