“Because of technology, we are producing in places once just dreamed of,” Pryor said, at the 10th annual KPMG Global Energy Conference. “In lifting those reserves, we’ve raised doubts about the eminence of peak oil.”
Technology has allowed the industry to cut the cost of production, increase the volume of fossil fuels captured, reduce environmental impacts and reach previously inaccessible deposits of oil and natural gas. Global reserves of oil and natural gas have grown 130 percent since 1980 and more than 30 percent since 2000, Pryor said.New methods for extracting more oil and natural gas from the ground have been particularly important to growing production volumes, Pryor said.
The natural flow of oil from wells only accounts for 15 percent to 20 percent of the total volume produced today, he said. Easing the flow of fossil fuels using water, carbon dioxide and other methods can enhance production by as much as 25 percent.
“And now the combined application of horizontal drilling and fracking can add another 10 percent,” he said. “Each of these technology advances unlocks more resource and reserves.”
Deep-ocean drilling holds among the greatest promises for expanding oil and natural gas production, Pryor said. He noted that in the 1950s, the industry was limited to drilling in water depths less than 100 feet. Today, wells are being completed 10,000 feet below the ocean’s surface."