Innovation could tap 10.2 trillion barrels of unconventional reserves

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Established oil and gas reserves are likely to run out by 2034, but new technologies can tap 10.2 trillion barrels of unconventional reserves, according to Lux Research. Lux contends that innovations in ways to tap unconventional oil and gas reserves could mean more than 250 years' worth of resources.

Lux Research found that OPEC has overstated reserves by as much as 70 percent but identified unconventional reserves totaling 10.2 trillion barrels. Production from tight oil, oil sands and shale gas will add 9.8 million barrels per day of production by 2035.

"New technology will lead to disruption in the energy section," said Rick Nariani, lux research analyst and the lead author of the report. "Some countries, such as Canada and Venezuela, have begun to develop their unconventional resources, but drastic innovation is needed to truly unlock the potential of these new reserves," he said.

According to Lux Research, as unconventional reserves are tapped, capital spending will skyrocket to more than $728 billion. New industry players will also emerge, including Canadian companies producing primarily from unconventional reserves; and enhanced oil recovery will have the short-term potential to ease oil prices.

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