IEA and USGS Unite Oil and Natural Gas Resource Assessment with Energy Security Policy and Analysis

(Paris) — 27 March 2000

The International Energy Agency and the US Geological Survey signed a letter of agreement on 23 March in which they undertook to exchange information and data on the world’s reserves of oil and natural gas.

The USGS resource assessment is generally accepted as the most thorough in the world. Coupled with the IEA’s statistics-gathering and analytical capabilities, this powerful combination has much to offer energy policy makers and energy market participants.

In its newly released report on the world’s undiscovered oil and gas resources (exclusive of the United States), the USGS has raised its estimates of undiscovered oil by 20 percent and slightly reduced estimates for undiscovered gas.

This latest USGS study provides an indication of the volume of oil and gas that may be added to global reserves over the next three decades and includes, for the first time, estimates of growth in previously discovered oil and gas fields. The data shows that such growth almost equals undiscovered resources.

The forthcoming IEA publication World Energy Outlook 2000 will draw extensively on data from the USGS World Petroleum Assessment for its oil and gas supply analysis.

“We hope to facilitate the link between the USGS’ world-class resource assessments and their ultimate markets and consumers,” said William Ramsay, Deputy Executive Director of the IEA.

Thomas Ahlbrandt, USGS World Petroleum Assessment project chief and Gene Whitney, USGS Energy Team Chief Scientific, discussed the preliminary results of the latest World Petroleum Assessment with the IEA and also briefed a meeting of representatives of IEA member countries.

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