WEC Congress | Hydrocarbon Frontiers: What is the Next Game Changer?

Large amounts of new energy supplies will potentially come from non-traditional technologies and regions. Over the past decade enormous developments have taken place with focus on shale oil & gas and tight oil or ultra-deep-water and many more projects are underway. Meanwhile, there are other sources that have massive potential. A World Energy Council survey estimates that at least 4.8 trillion barrels of oil shale is available (based on 40 countries), which is three times as high as the consumed 1.3 trillion barrels of oil so far. Further out methane hydrates may be referred to as the largest unknown in terms of resource potential. Meanwhile, in a low price environment many promising explorations have slowed or halted, including in East-Africa or the Arctic.


  1. What are the next hydrocarbon frontiers?
  2. How much is not going to be used if proven reserves are 2.8 times greater than the carbon budget? Is the next frontier even relevant?
  3. Given a context with more active investors, who will drive progress in developing the next game changer in hydrocarbons?

Background Reading

World Energy Issues Monitor 2016

Discussion Leader(s): Noureddine Boutarfa, Minister of Energy, Government of Algeria , Algeria ; Ibrahim Muhanna, Advisor to the Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources, Government of Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabia ; Jorge Camargo, Chair of the Executive Committee, Brazilian Petroleum, Gas and Biofuels Institute, Brazil ; Bonang Mohale, Vice Chair for Africa; Chairman & Country General Manager, World Energy Council; Shell Commercial Pty, South Africa
Topic: Technology frontiers