GEOPOLITICAL ROLE OF THE UNITED STATES GEOLOGICAL SURVEY WORLD PETROLEUM ASSESSMENTS
USGS assessments are based on analysis of geologic information and exploration and production histories. Geologists, therefore, have a key role in identifying and evaluating petroleum resources. In addition to estimating petroleum-resource volumes, the geologists compile and synthesize geologic information and maps in support of the assessments. Assessment results are presented as probabilistic estimates.
Global economics are dependent on petroleum; therefore, the USGS assessments benefit people and institutions in countries additional to the U.S. The International Energy Agency, an autonomous agency associated with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), relies extensively on data and results from USGS assessments for energy-supply analyses. The goals are to provide sustainable economic growth and employment and to raise the standard of living in OECD countries.
Developing countries also benefit from USGS assessments in that identification of resources can potentially foster social and economic growth by encouraging investment and initiating cash flow. Extraction of the resources provides employment and technological opportunities that can raise the standard of living. Development also provides markets for trade, resulting in economic and strategic security for the developing country. As an example, a recent joint USGS-Petrobangla assessment of the natural gas resources of Bangladesh provided information upon which that countrys energy-policy decisions are partly based. This assessment will help in the Bangladesh decision either to increase revenue by selling natural gas in the world market, or to satisfy its own energy demand by using the natural gas domestically to generate electricity.