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The authors of this report summarizea geology-based assessment of undiscov-ered conventional oil and gas resources of  priority geologic provinces of the world,completed between 2009 and 2011 as partof the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)World Petroleum Resources Project
(g. 1). One hundred seventy-one
geologic provinces were assessed inthis study (exclusive of provinces of the United States), which represent acomplete reassessment of the world sincethe last report was published in 2000(U.S. Geological Survey World EnergyAssessment Team, 2000). The presentreport includes the recent oil and gasassessment of geologic provinces north of the Arctic Circle (U.S. Geological SurveyCircum-Arctic Resource AppraisalAssessment Team, 2008). However, notall potential oil- and gas-bearing prov-inces of the world were assessed in the present study.The methodology for the assessmentincluded a complete geologic framework description for each province based mainly
on published literature, and the denition
of petroleum systems and assessment units(AU) within these systems. In this study,
313 AUs were dened and assessed for 
undiscovered oil and gas accumulations.Exploration and discovery history was acritical part of the methodology to deter-mine sizes and numbers of undiscoveredaccumulations. In those AUs with few or no discoveries, geologic and productionanalogs were used as a partial guide toestimate sizes and numbers of undiscov-ered oil and gas accumulations, using adatabase developed by the USGS follow-ing the 2000 assessment (Charpentier andothers, 2008). Each AU was assessed for undiscovered oil and nonassociated gasaccumulations, and co-product ratios wereused to calculate the volumes of associ-
ated gas (gas in oil elds) and volumes of 
natural gas liquids. This assessment is for conventional oil and gas resources only;unconventional resource assessments(heavy oil, tar sands, shale gas, shale oil,tight gas, coalbed gas) for priority areasof the world are being completed in anongoing but separate USGS study.
Resource Summary 
The USGS assessed undiscoveredconventional oil and gas resources in313 AUs within 171 geologic provinces. Inthis report the results are presented by geo-graphic region, which correspond to theeight regions used by the U.S. GeologicalSurvey World Energy Assessment Team(2000) (table 1). For undiscovered,technically recoverable resources, themean totals for the world are as fol-lows: (1) 565,298 million barrels of oil(MMBO); (2) 5,605,626 billion cubic feetof gas (BCFG); and (3) 166,668 million barrels (MMBNGL) of natural gas liquids.The ranges of resource estimates (between
the 95 and 5 fractiles) reect the geologic
uncertainty in the assessment process(table 1). The assessment results indicatethat about 75 percent of the undiscoveredconventional oil of the world is in four 
Using a geology-based assessment methodology,the U.S. Geological Survey estimated means of 565 billion barrels of conventional oil and 5,606 tril-lion cubic feet of undiscovered conventional natural  gas in 171 priority geologic provinces of the world,exclusive of the United States.
U.S. Department of the InteriorU.S. Geological SurveyFact Sheet 2012–30
 World Petroleum Resources Project
 An Estimate of Undiscovered Conventional Oil and Gas Resources of the World, 201
Printed on recycled paper
Eolian dunes of the An Nefud sand sea, northern Saudi Arabia. (Photograph by C.J. Schenk,U.S. Geological Survey.)
Assessed provinces
0 1,500 3,000 MILES0 1,500 3,000 KILOMETERS
Region 5North AmericaRegion 6South America and CaribbeanRegion 3Asia andPacificRegion 8South AsiaRegion 1FormerSoviet UnionRegion 2Middle East andNorth AfricaRegion 7sub-SaharanAfricaRegion 4EuropeRegion 5North America
Region 5North AmericaRegion 1FormerSoviet UnionRegion 3Asia andPacific
Region 3Asia andPacificRegion 1FormerSoviet UnionRegion 2Middle East andNorth AfricaRegion 7sub-SaharanAfricaRegion 4Europe
Region 4EuropeRegion 6South America and CaribbeanRegion 8South Asia
90°W 90°E180°
180°170°160°150°140°130°120°110°100°90°80°70°60°50°40°30°20°10°10°20°30°40°50°60°70°80°90°100°110°120°130°140°150°160°170°180° 90°80°70°60°50°40°30°20°10°10°20°30°40°50°60°70°80°90°
Figure 1.
Locations of 171 geologic provinces (red areas) of the world assessed in this study. Inset map shows assessed provinces of the Arctic in a polar projection; Arctic is defined as provinces above the Arctic Circle (yellow line). Arctic provinces are included in Regions 0, 1, 4, and 5.
Field type
Total undiscovered resources Oil (MMBO) Gas (BCFG) NGL (MMBNGL
0. Arctic Ocean
1. Former Soviet Union
2. Middle East and North Africa
3. Asia and Pacific
4. Europe
5. North America
6. South America and Caribbean
7. sub-Saharan Africa
8. South Asia
Total conventional resources565,2985,605,626166,668
regions: (1) South America and Caribbean,(2) sub-Saharan Africa, (3) Middle Eastand North Africa, and (4) the Arctic provinces portion of North America.
Signicant undiscovered conventional
gas resources remain in all of the world’sregions (table 1).Regions 0 and 1 (29 assessed prov-inces) encompass geologic provinceswithin countries of the former SovietUnion and include many provinces of the
Arctic (g. 1). Of the mean undiscov
-ered estimate of 66 billion barrels of oil(BBO) in this region, about 43 percentis estimated to be in Arctic provinces.
This region also contains signicant gas
resources [mean of 1,623 trillion cubic feetof gas (TCFG)], about 58 percent of whichis estimated to be in three Arctic AUs:South Kara Sea AU (622 TCFG); SouthBarents Basin AU (187 TCFG), and NorthBarents Basin AU (127 TCFG).Region 2 (26 assessed provinces),the Middle East and North Africa, includesthe Zagros Fold Belt of Iran, ArabianPeninsula, southern Turkey, and geologic provinces of North Africa from Egypt toMorocco. This region is estimated to con-tain a mean of 111 BBO, about 60 percent(65 BBO) of which is estimated to bein the Zagros and Mesopotamian prov-inces. This region is estimated to containa conventional gas resource mean of 941 TCFG, about 60 percent (566 TCFG)of which is estimated to be in the ZagrosFold Belt and the offshore areas of theRed Sea Basin, Levantine Basin, and NileDelta provinces.Region 3 (39 assessed provinces),
Asia and Pacic, includes geologic
 provinces of China, Vietnam, Thailand,Malaysia, Cambodia, Philippines, Brunei,Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, EastTimor, Australia, and New Zealand. Of the total mean undiscovered oil resourcesof 48 BBO, about 33 percent is estimatedto be in China provinces (15.7 BBO),and 10 percent is in Australian provinces
(5 BBO). Other signicant oil resources
are in offshore Brunei (3.6 BBO), KuteiBasin (3 BBO), and South China Sea(2.5 BBO) provinces. Of the undiscov-ered mean total of 738 TCFG, about45 percent (335 TCFG) is in provincesof Australia (227 TCFG) and China(108 TCFG). The rest of the gas resourceis distributed across the other provincesof Southeast Asia.
Table 1.
Assessment results for mean, undiscovered, technically recoverable oil, gas, and natural gas liquids for provinces of theworld by region.
[MMBO, million barrels of oil; BCFG, billion cubic feet of gas; MMBNGL, million barrels of natural gas liquids. Results shown are fully risked estimates. For gasaccumulations, all liquids are included as NGL (natural gas liquids). Total undiscovered gas resources are the sum of nonassociated and associated gas. F95 represents a
95-percent chance of at least the amount tabulated; other fractiles are dened similarly. Field type: Oil―oil, associated gas, and NGL in oil elds; Gas―nonassociatedgas and liquids in gas elds. Gray shading indicates not applicable]

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