The March, 1998 issue is a must read for everyone who has enough interest to read more than two messages on this thread. There are 4 articles as summarized below. The full articles are not (as of 15 February) available on the web site. I urge you to go buy the magazine anyway! There are some great artist renderings of, for example, horizontal drilling underground cutaway views.
I have copied the 4 article summaries immediately following and provided a link to the page which has the summaries. That might lead you to the full articles if/when they put them on the net. There is also a link to an article on 4D exploration.
Scientific American Articles
The End of Cheap Oil (summaries, series of four articles) March, 1998 target=new >http://www.sciam.com/1998/0398issue/0398quicksummary.html
Oil in 4D November, 1997 target=new >http://www.sciam.com/1197issue/1197techbus4.html
I inadvertantly left these out of the prior post. Note everything is copyright by Scientific American.
QUICK ARTICLE SUMMARIES MARCH 1998
PREVENTING THE NEXT OIL CRUNCH
Global production of oil from conventional sources is likely to peak and decline permanently during the next decade, according to the most thoughtful analyses. In these articles, industry experts explain why and describe technologies that could cushion against the shock of a new energy crisis.
THE END OF CHEAP OIL Colin J. Campbell and Jean H. Laherr�re
Forecasts about the abundance of oil are usually warped by inconsistent definitions of "reserves." In truth, every year for the past two decades the industry has pumped more oil than it has discovered, and production will soon be unable to keep up with rising demand.
MINING FOR OIL Richard L. George
Tarry sands and shales in Canada alone hold more than 300 billion barrels of petroleum, more than Saudi Arabia's reserves. Some companies can now extract that oil economically, while addressing environmental concerns over open-pit mining.
OIL PRODUCTION IN THE 21ST CENTURY Roger N. Anderson
Tracking the flow of underground crude, pressurizing dead wells and steering drills horizontally will help keep current oil fields alive. Meanwhile better engineering will open reserves under the deep ocean.
LIQUID FUELS FROM NATURAL GAS Safaa A. Fouda
Liquefied as gasoline, methanol or diesel fuel, natural gas can buffer the coming decline in crude oil. Technological improvements are making this conversion cheaper and more efficient.