SPE posts updated reserves definitions for comment

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Oct. 16 -- The Society of Petroleum Engineers has posted the proposed 2007 Petroleum Reserves and Resources Classification, Definitions, and Guidelines on its web site for comment from industry.

The draft involved 2 years of work and cooperation between SPE and other sponsoring organizations: the World Petroleum Council, the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, and the Society of Petroleum Evaluation Engineers.

The organizations seek comment from their international memberships by Feb. 1, 2007. Later boards of the various organizations will consider final approval of the definitions.

The proposed system would update and replace guidelines outlined in the 1997 SPE-WPC Petroleum Reserves Definitions and the 2000 SPE-WPC-AAPG Petroleum Resources Classification and Definitions.

In updating the definitions, SPE's oil and gas reserves committee compared definitions used worldwide. The primary updates include the following:

-- The system is project-based.

-- The class is based on the project chance of commerciality.

-- Categorization is based on quantities recovered by applying a defined project to a reservoir base case that uses evaluator's forecast of future conditions (including prices and costs, technology available, environmental standards, fiscal terms, and regulatory constraints).

-- Guidelines are applicable to unconventional resources (including bitumen, oil shale, coalbed methane, and gas hydrates).

"While ideally, national reporting and regulatory disclosure agencies would reference these standards, the guidelines do not replace those currently required by these agencies," SPE said.

The draft definitions are posted at www.spe.org/reserves.

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