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SEC oil reserves-reporting changes: now for the fun part

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) last month introduced updated guidelines for its system for oil and gas reserves-evaluation, the most commonly used accounting standard

Modernisation has been a long time coming. Unchanged since 1978, the SEC's rules had failed to take proper account of numerous technological developments that had altered the way companies evaluated their reserves. The regulations weren't in tune with industry thinking and practices, and tended to give an overly conservative picture of reserves. The changes are a welcome improvement on the prior system, but grey areas persist. Year-end pricing, which could easily result in misleading distortions in reported reserves figures, has gone. Companies are now able to use an average 12-month price – a more stable basis for assessment. In common with other reporting standards, the SEC now permits co

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