The world has large potential technical recoverable resources of tight oil possibly several times those of North America.
Commercial production of these resources could equal and exceed current estimates for North America tight oil output.
Outside North America, there could be 300 billion bbl of additional oil in the ground. While it is too early to assess the proportion of this that could be commercially recovered, the potential is significant compared to the commercially recoverable resources of tight oil 43 billion barrels estimated in North America.
The growth of tight oil production has driven the recent surge in North American production. The production process applies the same hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling techniques that have led to a boom in the production of shale gas.