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FORECASTING DEPLETION

CONTENTS

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Illustrations of depletion
Strategic importance of depletion forecasting
Major factors in depletion forecasting
Definitions of resources, reserves, depletion, and other terms
Demand forecasts and their relation to depletion forecasts
The relation of technology to depletion

Economic technology
Provident technology

Limits of technology
Historical sketch of nonrenewable-resource use
Importance of nonrenewable resources to an industrial society
The concepts of natural subsidy and net work profit -
Physical limits of nonrenewable resources

Geologic and geographic factors
Evolving efficiencies of nonrenewable-resource exploitation

The exponential imperative
Methods of calculating ultimate availability of nonrenewable

resources
The problem
The economic method
The geologic-analogy method
The exploitation-history method

Analysis of these methods
Recent history of U.S. production, consumption and importation of

nonrenewable resources
Depletion forecasts for the problem resources

Natural gas
Petroleum
The alloy metals

Antimony, chromium, cobalt

Manganese Fluorspar

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Helium

Uranium
The relation of national strength to resource depletion -
Summation
Suggested reading
References cited

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TABLE OF ILLUSTRATIONS

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Figure

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Production of the Comstock Lode, Nevada, showing three
stages of depletion of a mine

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2

Depletion history of Lake Superior district (U.S.) iron
ore, showing overlapping stages of depletion of a mining
region

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3

Depletion history of crude oil in the United States in-
cluding Alaska and establishment of a new depletion curve
for synthetic crude

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4

Man's use of energy through the millennia, emphasizing
distinction between renewable and nonrenewable sources

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Energy input shares, U.S. economy, 1850-1970
Relation of energy consumption to GNP for selected
countries (1969)

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Net work profit from the natural subsidy in coal depends
upon end use and system efficiencies

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A. Sketch through earth's crust, showing discontinuous

and relatively shallow prisms of sedimentary rock --- 37 B. Upward-branching vein pattern typical of many metallic ore deposits

31 Nature of the physical boundaries of typical mineral deposits

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Approximate flow of energy through the United States
economy, 1971

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Cost of oil and gas wells drilled in Texas, by total
depth

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Proved and potential natural gas reserves in Texas by
depth range, and average cost of wells drilled to these
ranges

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