Oil change. ‘Fighting global warming means reducing dependency on oil. But though supply is insecure, it remains plentiful. Keeping oil in the energy mix makes sense. There is a vast, unexplored region where an estimated 30% of the world’s oil lies buried, yet only 2% of the world’s exploratory drilling is carried out there. Where is it? The answer is not Antarctica or under the Pacific, but the Middle East.
Surprisingly, the world’s largest oil reservoir is under-exploited. Over the last 40 years, the number of wildcat wells drilled in the Middle East has plummeted, and today exploration is nearly zero. A number of reasons have contributed to the decline, from regional conflicts, two decades of low prices and the soaring cost of equipment.
Elsewhere around the globe, the picture is similar, with the additional constraint of tough environmental controls affecting exploration and drilling.’
Wikipedia: Oil reserves. ‘Oil reserves refer to portions of oil in place (STOOIP) that are recoverable under economic constraints. Oil in the ground is not a “reserve” unless it is economically recoverable, since as the oil is extracted, the cost of recovery increases incrementally. The recovery factor (RF) is the percentage of STOOIP which is economically recoverable under a given set of conditions.’