The debate over whether the world's reserves of hydrocarbons have now peaked and are in decline has lost relevance over recent years as new technology allows oil companies to find and exploit new hydrocarbon sources, the CEO of Repsol Antonio Brufau said Tuesday.
Brufau said progress made in exploring and developing ultra-deepwater areas, unconventional oil and gas sources and the move into remote areas such as the Arctic, have been key to growing global reserves of oil and gas.
"The speed at which technology changes and its consequences have taken us largely by surprise. The peak oil debate, for example, has lost a great deal of its relevance in the past three years," Brufau told the World Petroleum Congress in Doha.
"The possibility that usable resources under commercially viable terms will run out is no longer a concern in the short or medium term," he said.
New technology has given access to "massive amounts" of new resources, Brufau said, adding Repsol is continue to explore in deepwater offshore Brazil, West Africa and Cuba.
Last month, Repsol said it has continued to more than replace its proven oil and gas reserves outside Argentina this year and will accelerate output from 2015 onwards as it converts contingent resources into proven reserves.
Brufau pointed to developments in the US shale gas industry and highlighted Repsol's own plans to develop a huge shale oil and gas area in Argentina.
Repsol has said it estimates the cost of fully developing its Vaca Muerta shale oil and gas discovery in Argentina at some $20 billion. The discovery covers nearly 1 billion equivalent barrels of recoverable shale oil at the Loma La Lata field.
Brufau said Repsol's shale reserves in Argentina are currently profitable to develop at $30/barrel finding, development and operating cost.
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