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Reserve Definitions

Range of Uncertainty

The range of uncertainty of the recoverable and/or potentially recoverable volumes may be represented by either deterministic scenarios or by a probability distribution. When the range of uncertainty is represented by a probability distribution, a low, best, and high estimate shall be provided such that:

  • There should be at least a 90 percent probability (P90) that the quantities actually recovered will equal or exceed the low estimate.
  • There should be at least a 50 percent probability (P50) that the quantities actually recovered will equal or exceed the best estimate.
  • There should be at least a 10 percent probability (P10) that the quantities actually recovered will equal or exceed the high estimate.

When using the deterministic scenario method, typically there should also be low, best, and high estimates, where such estimates are based on qualitative assessments of relative uncertainty using consistent interpretation guidelines. Under the deterministic incremental (risk-based) approach, quantities at each level of uncertainty are estimated discretely and separately.

These same approaches to describing uncertainty may be applied to Reserves, Contingent Resources, and Prospective Resources. While there may be significant risk that sub-commercial and undiscovered accumulations will not achieve commercial production, it is useful to consider the range of potentially recoverable quantities independently of such a risk or consideration of the resource class to which the quantities will be assigned.


Reserves Categories and Status

For Reserves, the general cumulative terms low/best/high estimates are denoted as 1P/2P/3P, respectively. The associated incremental quantities are termed Proved, Probable and Possible. Reserves are a subset of, and must be viewed within context of, the complete resources classification system.


Proved Reserves

Proved Reserves are those quantities of petroleum which, by analysis of geoscience and engineering data, can be estimated with reasonable certainty to be commercially recoverable, from a given date forward, from known reservoirs and under defined economic conditions, operating methods, and government regulations. If deterministic methods are used, the term reasonable certainty is intended to express a high degree of confidence that the quantities will be recovered. If probabilistic methods are used, there should be at least a 90 percent probability that the quantities actually recovered will equal or exceed the estimate.


Probable Reserves

Probable Reserves are those additional Reserves which analysis of geoscience and engineering data indicate are less likely to be recovered than Proved Reserves but more certain to be recovered than Possible Reserves. It is equally likely that actual remaining quantities recovered will be greater than or less than the sum of the estimated Proved plus Probable Reserves (2P). In this context, when probabilistic methods are used, there should be at least a 50 percent probability that the actual quantities recovered will equal or exceed the 2P estimate.


Possible Reserves

Possible Reserves are those additional Reserves which analysis of geoscience and engineering data suggest are less likely to be recoverable than Probable Reserves. The total quantities ultimately recovered from the project have a low probability to exceed the sum of Proved plus Probable plus Possible (3P) Reserves, which is equivalent to the high estimate scenario. In this context, when probabilistic methods are used, there should be at least a 10% probability that the actual quantities recovered will equal or exceed the 3P estimate.

Reserves status categories define the development and producing status of wells and reservoirs.


Developed Reserves

Developed Reserves are expected quantities to be recovered from existing wells and facilities.

Reserves are considered developed only after the necessary equipment has been installed, or when the costs to do so are relatively minor compared to the cost of a well. Where required facilities become unavailable, it may be necessary to reclassify Developed Reserves as Undeveloped.

Developed Reserves may be further sub-classified as Producing or Non-Producing.


Developed Producing Reserves

Developed Producing Reserves are expected to be recovered from completion intervals that are open and producing at the time of the estimate. Improved recovery reserves are considered producing only after the improved recovery project is in operation.


Developed Non-producing Reserves

Developed Non-Producing Reserves include shut-in and behind-pipe Reserves. Shut-in Reserves are expected to be recovered from

  • completion intervals which are open at the time of the estimate but which have not yet started producing,
  • wells which were shut-in for market conditions or pipeline connections, or,
  • wells not capable of production for mechanical reasons.

Behind-pipe Reserves are expected to be recovered from zones in existing wells, which will require additional completion work or future re-completion prior to start of production.


Undeveloped Reserves

Undeveloped Reserves are expected quantities expected to be recovered through future investments:

  • from new wells on undrilled acreage,
  • from deepening existing wells to a different (but known) reservoir,
  • from infill wells that will increase recovery, or
  • where a relatively large expenditure (e.g. when compared to the cost of drilling a new well) is required to
    • recomplete an existing well or
    • install production or transportation facilities for primary or improved recovery projects.
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