Ways to inflate/deflate oil and gas reserves

Here are some ways to do it:

  1. Generally, a number of estimation methods are allowed:  decline curve analysis (DCA), analogy, reservoir modelling, volumetric, pressure, or some combination of those methods, etc.  You can cherry pick among those methods to choose the one that yields outlier numbers.  The least time-consuming method is to use DCA, with Arps equations, with a high b-factor and with a low Dmin value.
  2. For DCA, you can use the analogy method for the underlying assumptions to “supplement” your wells’ production data with historical data that goes further back.  Like #1, the optionality in methods allow you to cherry pick.
  3. You could use the analogy method on wells that have undergone significant capex/opex spending on enhanced oil recovery techniques.  However, because you likely do not have access to those wells’ capex+opex figures, you could over/underestimate the economics of your own wells.
  4. In Canada, you are allowed to use commodity price forecasts that are well above the futures curve.  (*Things were very different in the early 2000s.)
  5. You could book reserves for non-producing wells, e.g. wells that are shut-in and wells that were not completed due to poor economics.  Theoretically, these wells could be NPV positive with higher commodity prices.

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