Exploration frontiers for new century determined by technology, politics

Daniel Yergin, in his great book The Prize, described the 20th century as "the century of oil," arguing that petroleum has been a fundamental driver in the industrial, commercial, and political evolution of our society, especially during the 50 years or so following World War II. Click here to enlarge imageThroughout this period, our industry has supplied the "hydrocarbon society" with the low-cost oil and gas that it has demanded and has continued to find new sources of supply to replace, and in fact outstrip, continually rising annual production (Fig. 1). This relentless search for new supplies has continued throughout the highs and lows of oil prices, but before we look ahead to the n...

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