Lux Research said in a new report that exotic oil drilling technologies could increase hydrocarbon production six-fold.
Fracking — injecting fluids into rock formations to extract oil and natural gas — is just one technique changing the production picture.
Other Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) technologies include steam and microbe injection, and new types of chemicals.
Chevron has already deployed solar technology for steam injection, built by BrightSource Energy and GlassPoint Solar to recover heavy crude.
The China National Petroleum Corporation is injecting polymers and alkaline compounds to push oil from rock layers into wells.
A microbial EOR in Malaysia increased oil production by 47% over five months.
Problems? Political and environmental opposition may slow the use of some EOR techniques, particularly in the U.S. and other Western countries.