SEC mulls revising oil, gas reserves disclosure rules

Nick Snow
Washington Editor

WASHINGTON, DC, Dec. 19 -- The US Securities and Exchange Commission is seeking public comment on possibly revising oil and gas reserves disclosure requirements.

The proposal recognizes that significant changes have occurred in the business in the 3 decades since the federal securities regulator first adopted oil and gas reserves disclosure rules, it said on Dec. 11.

"Technological advancements over the last 30 years have changed the way in which companies detect and extract oil and gas resources. Managements of oil and gas companies rely on these advancements to consider their investments," said John White, who directs e SEC's corporation finance division.

A number of analysts and investors also told the agency that its oil and gas disclosure requirements needed to be updated to reflect companies' reserves and how they are managed, he added.

The commission's request is in the form of a concept release that seeks input on five questions:
--Whether the SEC should revise the proved reserves definition, including assessment and measurement criteria.
--How new technologies affect that definition.
--How rules might be changed to accommodate future technological innovations.
--Whether the rules should permit other resource categories to be disclosed.
--Whether the rules should require third-party verification of companies' reported reserves.

Comments may be filed with the SEC for 60 days following the notice's publication in the Federal Register, SEC said.

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