Petroleum Resources Management System

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Report: Petroleum Resources Management System


Petroleum resources are the estimated quantities of hydrocarbons naturally occurring on or within the Earth’s crust. Resource assessments estimate total quantities in known and yet-to-be discovered accumulations; resources evaluations are focused on those quantities that can potentially be recovered and marketed by commercial projects. A petroleum resources management system provides a consistent approach to estimating petroleum quantities, evaluating development projects, and presenting results within a comprehensive classification framework.

International efforts to standardize the definitions of petroleum resources and how they are estimated began in the 1930s. Early guidance focused on Proved Reserves. Building on work initiated by the Society of Petroleum Evaluation Engineers (SPEE), SPE published definitions for all Reserves categories in 1987. In the same year, the World Petroleum Council (WPC, then known as the World Petroleum Congress), working independently, published Reserves definitions that were strikingly similar. In 1997, the two organizations jointly released a single set of definitions for Reserves that could be used worldwide. In 2000, the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG), SPE, and WPC jointly developed a classification system for all petroleum resources. This was followed by additional supporting documents: supplemental application evaluation guidelines (2001) and a glossary of terms utilized in resources definitions (2005). SPE also published standards for estimating and auditing reserves information (revised 2007).

These definitions and the related classification system are now in common use internationally within the petroleum industry. They provide a measure of comparability and reduce the subjective nature of resources estimation. However, the technologies employed in petroleum exploration, development, production, and processing continue to evolve and improve. The SPE Oil and Gas Reserves Committee works closely with other organizations to maintain the definitions and issues periodic revisions to keep current with evolving technologies and changing commercial opportunities.

This document consolidates, builds on, and replaces guidance previously contained in the 1997 Petroleum Reserves Definitions, the 2000 Petroleum Resources Classification and Definitions publications, and the 2001 “Guidelines for the Evaluation of Petroleum Reserves and Resources”; the latter document remains a valuable source of more detailed background information, and specific chapters are referenced herein. Appendix A is a consolidated glossary of terms used in resources evaluations and replaces those published in 2005. These definitions and guidelines are designed to provide a common reference for the international petroleum industry, including national reporting and regulatory disclosure agencies, and to support petroleum project and portfolio management requirements. They are intended to improve clarity in global communications regarding petroleum resources. It is expected that this document will be supplemented with industry education programs and application guides addressing their implementation in a wide spectrum of technical and/or commercial settings.

It is understood that these definitions and guidelines allow flexibility for users and agencies to tailor application for their particular needs; however, any modifications to the guidance contained herein should be clearly identified. The definitions and guidelines contained in this document must not be construed as modifying the interpretation or application of any existing regulatory reporting requirements. This SPE/WPC/AAPG/SPEE Petroleum Resources Management System document, including its Appendix, may be referred to by the abbreviated term “SPE-PRMS” with the caveat that the full title, including clear recognition of the co-sponsoring organizations, has been initially stated.

Society of Petroleum Engineers, American Association of Petroleum Geologists, World Petroleum Council and Society of Petroleum Evaluation Engineers

Society of Petroleum Engineers, 2007

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Society of Petroleum Engineers, American Association of Petroleum Geologists, World Petroleum Council, Society of Petroleum Evaluation Engineers. 2007. Petroleum Resources Management System. unspecified: Society of Petroleum Engineers.