'Oil equivalent': A recurrent fable

"Oil equivalent" is widely used to measure the total hydrocarbons in a reservoir at a given moment, or produced over some period by a company, etc. Gas is converted to liquids at 6,000 cu ft/bbl.Companies have generally stayed close to the 6:1 thermal equivalence. TotalFinaElf has used 5.487, Chevron-Texaco and Shell Canada 6:1. However, Suncor Energy Inc., PanCanadian Petroleum Corp., and Scotia Capital have used 10:1.We have deplored the use of "oil equivalent."Our late lamented friend John Lohrenz, an engineer who knew oil economics, entitled a brief paper: "In Situ Gas-to-Oil Equivalence 6 Mcf/bbl? Aw C'mon!" Sir John Browne of BP Amoco has said of oil equivalent: "No such thing e...

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