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SPE Estimating and Auditing Standards


Ron Harrell, Ryder Scott

More than 30 years ago, SPE recognized the need to establish “Standards Pertaining to the Estimating and Auditing of Oil and Gas Reserves Information” (the Standards).  This document was released in 1977 and paralleled the issuance of the 1978 SEC reserves reporting requirements.   The Standards provided recommendations toward (1) certain defined terms, (2) minimum qualifications for estimators and auditors, and (3) the absolute necessity for estimators and auditors to maintain a high level of independence, objectivity and observance of confidentiality.

Concurrent with the March 2007 release of PRMS, an updated and revised version of The Standards was approved by the SPE Board.  This version retained all of the principles established in the 1977 version but was enlarged to embrace language and terminology appropriate to PRMS.  Additionally, three areas of the Standards were expanded to:

  • More clearly explain the terms auditors and auditing as used by the petroleum industry and as contrasted with the financial professions,
  • Recognize  more stringent requirements to be considered in describing  the qualifications of reserves estimators and auditors, and
  • Acknowledge the increasing need to integrate the talents of engineers and geoscientists in the preparation of reliable reserves information.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90098©2009 AAPG Education Department, Houston, Texas 9-11 September 2009