The AAPG Executive Committee has voted to endorse the methodology being used by the U.S. Geological Survey in its comprehensive assessment of worldwide energy resources project.
The endorsement was recommended by AAPG's Committee on Resource Evaluation (CORE), which began studying the project during last year's annual meeting in Salt Lake City.
"(CORE) is satisfied with the scientific methodology, rigor and consistency being applied to the world oil and gas assessment by the USGS' World Energy Project," said CORE chairman Ben D. Hare.
The USGS World Energy Project was initiated in 1995, with the USGS dividing the world into eight regions – since subdivided into 954 provinces, of which 406 are petroleum bearing.
These provinces have been ranked by their known oil and gas resources, with the top 76 non-U.S. provinces plus 21 U.S. provinces containing 95 percent of the world's known oil and gas resources.
"Assessment teams," each containing a senior scientist, are now working to provide "a measure of comparison and standardization among various provinces and assessment units."
This is the first such effort in the public domain based on geologic data and petroleum system evaluation, and is expected to be among the top data-intensive resource evaluations undertaken by the USGS.
"The results of this project, sizes and volumes of undiscovered oil and gas accumulations in various parts of the world will address matters of significant national and international interest, and will be a great data resource for policy makers and those engaged in strategic planning," Hare said.
"The geologic maps generated during the assessment will be of value to AAPG members worldwide for years to come."
AAPG's assessment of the USGS methodology was conducted by a four-member CORE subcommittee.
CORE, as early as the Salt Lake City meeting, agreed that this project will have marked significance – and any figures published by the USGS for worldwide energy resources will have profound implications – for domestic and international policy, as well as for the geoscience community.
CORE's conclusion and endorsement in January that the assessment project team had done a "very thorough job merging regional and local data on petroleum systems" was part of the recommendation to the Executive Committee.
"The geologic aptness has been well balanced," Hare said, "with expertise in data analysis, statistics and probability methods."
By its endorsement, the AAPG Executive Committee has agreed.