Editorial - Reserves questions

Politics threatens the unsteady relationship between financial accounting and the reporting of oil and natural gas reserves. In the wake of unusually large reserves adjustments by Royal Dutch/Shell Group and others, a senior congressman normally unfriendly toward the oil and gas business has begun an investigation.The potential thus grows for official overreaction to a problem easy to misconstrue. A letter last month from Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.), ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, asks eight questions that show what oil and gas producers can expect. Dingell sent his inquiry to Energy Sec. Spencer Abraham; Patrick Henry Wood III, chairman of the Federal Energy R...

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