This study uses the United States Geological Survey (USGS) World Petroleum
Assessment (USGS World Energy Assessment Team 2000) as a starting point. Then,
it uses a previously defined variable-shape-distribution (VSD) model for
estimating the endowment of oil, natural gas, and natural-gas liquids (NGL)
throughout North, Central, and South America.
Use of the VSD model is validated by an excellent fit with actual data,
supported by coefficients of determination (R2) equal to
0.98 or greater. The study includes endowments in petroleum provinces not
assessed previously by other organizations. Endowment, as defined by the USGS,
refers to the sum of known volumes of hydrocarbons (cumulative production plus
remaining reserves) and undiscovered volumes. Petroleum is the sum of oil,
natural gas, and NGL.
The importance of North, Central, and South America is highlighted by a
hydrocarbon output during 2007 that accounted for 25% of the world oil
production and more than 31% of the natural-gas production.
It is concluded that there is a large petroleum endowment in North, Central,
and South America that will last for several decades and will help to
contribute significantly to the energy needs of these regions. It is
recommended to actively pursue research and development of this endowment.
© 2010. Society of Petroleum Engineers
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- Original manuscript received:
19 December 2009
- Meeting paper published:
5 October 2009
- Revised manuscript received:
8 March 2010
- Manuscript approved:
20 April 2010
- Version of record:
11 October 2010