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Open-File Report 2010-1145

Reserve Growth During Financial Volatility in a Technologically Challenging World

By Timothy R. Klett and Donald L. Gautier

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Reserve growth (growth-to-known) is the addition of oil and gas quantities to reported proved or proved-plus-probable reserves in discovered fields. The amount of reserve growth fluctuates through time with prevailing economic and technological conditions. Most reserve additions are the result of investment in field operations and in development technology. These investments can be justified by higher prices of oil and gas, the desire to maintain cash flow, and by greater recovery efficiency in well established fields. The price/cost ratio affects decisions for field abandonment and (or) implementation of improved recovery methods. Although small- to medium-size fields might show higher percentages of reserve growth, a relatively few giant fields contribute most volumetric reserve growth, indicating that companies may prefer to invest in existing fields with low geologic and production risk and an established infrastructure in order to increase their price/cost relationship. Whereas many previous estimates of reserve growth were based on past trends of reported reserves, future reserve growth is expected to be greatly affected by financial volatility and fluctuating economic and technological conditions.

First posted July 20, 2010

For additional information contact:

U.S. Geological Survey
Central Energy Resources Science Center
Box 25046, MS-939
Denver Federal Center
Denver, CO 80225-0046

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Suggested citation:

Klett, T.R., and Gautier, D.L., 2010, Reserve growth during financial volatility in a technologically challenging world: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2010-1145, 33 p.




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