A multidisciplinary symposium focused on providing clarity to the estimation and reporting of petroleum reserves and resources was held in July in Houston. The symposium brought together a diverse group of stakeholders represented by 200 people from more than 100 organizations in 17 countries.
The event – jointly organized and sponsored by AAPG, the Society of Petroleum Engineers and the Society of Petroleum Evaluation Engineers – was a follow-up to a 2007 conference held in Washington, D.C., soon after the release of the Petroleum Resources Management System (PRMS) document.
Following a keynote presentation by AAPG member Peter Gaffney, the opening technical session speakers – AAPG members John Etherington of PRA International and David MacDonald of BP Exploration, and Jim Ross of Ross Petroleum – explored opportunities for converging existing reserves/resources classification systems.
The presentations demonstrated the relationship of the broadly accepted PRMS to the Canadian Oil and Gas Evaluation Handbook and the United Nations Framework Classification – there is a great deal of similarity in these systems, and programs are under way to test the desirability of converging them.
The second session focused on the uses of reserves and resources numbers in the policy, regulatory and economic sectors:
Session three dealt with the use of information about reserves and resources by equity investors and lenders:
The fourth session focused on mergers and acquisitions:
Session five was a panel discussion regarding the modified SEC regulations. Panel members included James Prince of Vinson & Elkins, Paul Horak with Deloitte & Touche, Don Roesle of Ryder Scott and Kerry Scott with Pioneer Natural Resources.
As a starting point for discussion, AAPG member John Hodgin of Ryder Scott provided an analysis of industry responses to publicly released SEC letters. The most frequently asked question by the SEC in these letters related to the timeframe and commitment to convert reserves from an undeveloped to a developed status.
The panel discussed this issue and several others – including the supporting documentation for development plans and the disclosure of supplemental reserves and resources information.
Session six dealt with issues specific to estimating unconventional resources and reserves:
The seventh session focused on the differences between deterministic and probabilistic methods and their application to resource estimation:
In the final session, Rusty Riese, AAPG Distinguished Ethics Lecturer, emphasized that industry must work together to make the best-informed decisions on technical and professional matters. Ron Harrell then discussed steps to engage the worldwide reserves community through the nearly completed PRMS applications document and reserves evaluation training.
The symposium wrap-up included comments from past AAPG president Dave Rensink on the role professional societies should play in the resources and reserves estimation process.