Why aren't more U.S. companies replacing oil and gas reserves?

Jerry Paul Brashear The Brashear Group LLC Potomac, Md. Alan B. Becker Modern Energy Concepts Jefferson City, Mo. Michael L. Godec, Peter M. Crawford ICF Resources Inc. Fairfax, Va. Success in oil and gas exploration and production sounds deceptively simple: Produce and replace reserves so as to maximize the wealth of the company. Recent performance of the U.S. industry, however, demonstrates a tension between replacing reserves and maximizing profits. For the 15 years ended in 1995, the U.S. industry replaced only 87% of the liquids (crude oil and natural gas liquids) and natural gas it produced.1 The 10 la...

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