Proved reservesThe basic facts on production and "proved" reserves quoted by Arlie M. Skov (OGJ, July 26, 2004, p. 10) cannot be disputed. What is disputable, however, are the conclusions he has reached. Using production data and proved reserves estimates for 1983 and 2003, Skov concludes, among others, that OPEC nations have not inflated (proved) reserves to boost production quotas.The fallacy in this interpretation is to correlate production with proved reserves. There is no basis for such correlation. Much of the production, both in the US and the rest of the world, comes from the unproved, mostly "probable," component of reserves. This is a natural consequence of the trend whereby pro...

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