Modeling petroleum resources in provinces of the Former Soviet Union
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This paper estimates petroleum endowment volumes for provinces of the Former Soviet Union (FSU) that have not been previously assessed by other organizations. The study uses the United States Geological Survey World Petroleum Assessment (USGS, 2000) as a starting point. It then ultilizes nonlinear regression to estimate parameters of a Variable Shape Distribution (VSD) model that calculates the total petroleum endowment throughout the FSU. Earlier size distribution models used to evaluate unassessed petroleum resources relied mainly on the fractal and lognormal distributions. In fact, all the methods used historically have been based on an assumed form of the size distribution of nature's endowment of petroleum resources. The VSD model is different in that it allows the actual petroleum data from USGS (2000) to determine the form of the size distribution of petroleum resources. The model is validated by a good fit of actual data, supported by coefficients of determination (R2) equal to 0.98 or greater. It is concluded that there is a large petroleum endowment in the FSU that will last for several decades and can contribute signficantly to domestic energy needs as well as export requirements.
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