In March 2007, the SPE Board, along with the WPC, AAPG and SPEE approved the new Petroleum Resources Management System (PRMS). The PRMS contains a set of definitions, standards and guidelines for the classification of conventional and unconventional petroleum resources.

This paper discusses the importance of coal seam gas as a global resource and presents an overview of the coal seam gas industry in Australia. The basic principles of the PRMS are presented and the current practices used by the industry to classify and categorise reserves and resources are summarised. Unconventional petroleum resources require different evaluation and development techniques and have their own uncertainty characteristics which can affect reserves booking. The scale of development projects may also be very different for 1P, 2P and 3P reserves categories and consequently each of these may require considerably different capital investment.

Industry practice indicates that there may be some confusion about the application of the PRMS to coal seam gas properties and therefore it is the objective of this paper to assist stakeholders to correctly and consistently apply the PRMS standards. This is of particular importance as the development of coal seam gas is going through an exponential growth phase in the drive to meet record demand.

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