4. Subsequent reports to the World Energy Conference have not changed these estimates substantially. See World Energy Resources, 1985–2020 (Guilford, U.K.: IPC Science & Technology Press, 1978).


5. If “probable reserves” are included (as in Exxon Corporation, World Energy Outlook, April 1977) additions to reserves are more or less level from 1945 on, with a small dip in the last few years. This somewhat different pattern underscores the importance of timing assumptions in the analysts of resources. Usually reserves are considered “probable” before they are proved. The date at which indicated resources become probable reserves is inevitably somewhat arbitrary.


6. For a summary see Table 3–1 in Workshop on Alternative Energy Strategies, Energy: Global Prospects 1985–2000 (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1977).


7. See Pierre Desprairies, “Worldwide Petroleum Supply Limits,” in World Energy Resources, 1985–2020 (Guilford, U.K.: IPC Science & Technology Press, 1978), pp. 1–47. The estimate given there for “unconventional petroleum (deep offshore and in the polar zones, enhanced recovery, oil shales, tar sands, synthetic oils)” exploitable toward the end of the twentieth century at a price of $20–$25 per barrel (1976 dollars) is about the same as for conventional petroleum.


8. According to the report cited in note 7, “enhanced recovery can increase the present average recovery of 25–30 percent…up to 45–50 percent,” p. 15.


9. Table 10–7 does not break down North American reserves by country, but other sources indicate that at least two thirds of them are in the United States.


10. According to Foster et al., “The Contribution of Nuclear Power to World Energy Supply, 1975–2020,” in World Energy Resources, 1985–2020 (Guilford, U.K.: IPC Science & Technology Press, 1978), pp. 126–127, thorium supplies from known sources (primarily as a by-product) are likely to be adequate at present prices.


11. More detail may be found in research inspired by CONAES but not done under its auspices; see H.S.Houthakker and M.Kennedy, “Long Range Energy Prospects,” Journal of Energy Development 4, no. 1 (Autumn 1978):1–28.


12. However, this possibility could be offset by the fact that their capital stock will be mostly new, so it can be designed to be efficient at present and prospective energy prices.


13. The most recent manifestation of these strains is the large current account deficit of the United States, which emerged in early 1977 and has had its counterpart in the large surpluses of Germany and Japan. While U.S. oil imports are a major contributor to the deficit, the failure of U.S. exports to grow in real terms is at least as important. The emergence of the deficit was followed by a sharp rise of most European currencies and the yen in terms of dollars, though most of the world’s currencies have remained at par with the dollar and the Canadian currency has depreciated. The cheaper U.S. dollar should in due course correct the current account deficit, especially if other industrial countries stimulate their economies from their present recession, thus further encouraging U.S. exports. In the meantime the dollar’s depreciation has not made oil imports more expensive because the price of oil is fixed in dollar terms; it has, however, increased the cost of non-oil imports and has thereby aggravated inflation in the United States. Consequently the attempt to keep U.S. oil prices low through price controls, which is one factor in our large oil imports, has led to a larger rise in other prices.

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