This study is part of a larger investigation of the energy position of the United States through 1975 which is being undertaken as part of the Energy and Minerals Program of Resources for the Future.
The author, Bruce C. Netschert, is a staff research associate in the energy and minerals area. Although he draws from a background of both geology and economics, his study is not intended as a technical contribution containing original geologic and engineering data. It is an economic study, based on the analysis and interpretation of technical opinion and the facts from which that opinion is derived. No prior knowledge of the oil and gas industry on the part of the reader is assumed.
The contributions of the study are of many kinds. At the most general level are the author's conclusions concerning oil and gas "availability" in 1975. This term is used in a special sense to include only the elements of physical availability and technologic feasibility bearing on future supply prospects. Demand and other important factors which will influence actual domestic production are excluded. Mr. Netschert concludes that in 1975, or thereabouts, domestic availability, at no appreciable increase in constant dollar costs, could be about 6 billion barrels of crude oil and 22.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas per year. (Production in 1956 was 2.6 billion barrels of crude oil and 10.9 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.)