How do we monitor the amount of oil left in the world?



  1. 0 Votes

    Good question, jimenahaynes.  Oil reserves are a tricky thing.  First, to even be able to know how much oil is underground is not easy.  Despite new technologies like reflection seismology, that basically gets a picture of underground through using reflected seismic waves, uncertainties still remain as to the exact amount of oil.  And even with a picture of what is going on underground, we can’t extract all of it. So even if we know there is a lot of oil in a reservoir, it is divided into producible oil and non-producable oil.  On top of all of this, some countries leave there oil reserve data undisclosed, or falsify their real numbers for political reasons.  So, in short, we have a vague idea of how much oil is left, and that idea seems to change with technology and politics.

    Hope this helps!

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