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Study Notes

Resource Development Stage

Level:
AS, A-Level, IB
Board:
AQA, Edexcel, OCR, IB, Eduqas, WJEC

Last updated 2 Aug 2017

After the initial exploitation of a resource, there may be a need to further develop the resource field either to meet growing demand or to manage the quantity of resources being extracted in older projects that are declining or reaching the end of economic productivity.

For example, in the case of oil and gas, there is a need for ongoing projects as some operations in more established areas (e.g. North Sea) start to see less oil and gas being produced, whilst there is still a growing demand from markets.

There are two main options available to develop a resource. 

One option is to search for the resource in new areas which had not previously been explored. This new exploration requires a technical search but also requires the legal and political permission to access another nation’s resources. 

A second option is to develop new approaches which enable governments or energy TNCs to extract resources which they could not previously access. Operators have sought to extract gas from increasingly challenging areas that were previously too expensive to exploit. Challenges may be physical, such as the deep water off Brazil or in the Gulf of Mexico, or low temperatures, such as in Alaska or the Arctic Circle. Challenges may also be human, such as the political risks of extracting oil and gas in unstable countries such as Iraq or Libya. 

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