Fossil fuel depletion patterns worldwide demonstrate that oil companies must explore more aggressively to compensate for the depleting giant oil fields of the swing countries such as Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait and Venezuela. Global consumption is estimated at 24 billion barrels per year and new reserves are discovered at approximately 6 billion barrels per year. The US is heavily dependent and vulnerable on foreign oil, importing approximately 60% of its daily requirement.
Companies bringing on new production will have an immediate market and favorable prices and incentive to drill and explore in the US. With new technology oil and gas accumulations are more readily identified.
3D seismic interpretation, LandSat and Geochemistry, Direct Hydrocarbon. Detection and other methods enhance exploration and reduce risk, but giant fields are not discovered as frequently as in the past. While oil and gas will continue to drive our economies it will be more scarce and expensive.
(source on global consumption vs. new reserves Star Tribune, Denver November 18, 1998- Mr. CJ Campbell Petroconsultants S.A.- Geneva and author of "The Coming Oil Crisis").