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March 20, 2007: Study Sees Potential in Unconventional Oil and Gas Sources

March 20, 2007
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EDINBURGH, Scotland - The world's potential "unconventional" sources of oil and natural gas exceed the current estimates of undiscovered conventional oil and gas sources around the world, according to a study released by energy analysts at Wood Mackenzie. The study estimates that unconventional sources such as heavy oil (including oil sands), "tight" gas (gas trapped in nearly impermeable rock formations), coal bed methane, and shale oil could add up to the equivalent of 3.6 trillion barrels of oil.

The report estimates that unconventional oil sources could provide more than 20 percent of the global oil supply by 2025, and that unconventional natural gas sources could provide more than 40 percent of the U.S. natural gas supply by 2010.

Wood Mackenzie said that, spurred on by an immediate requirement to secure future gas supply, North America is at the forefront of developing unconventional sources and with the recent run up in commodity prices, an increasing amount of these resources can be economically produced.

Publication date: 03/19/2007

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