An alternative system for the categorisation of volumes of hydrocarbons in place and reserves is proposed. The system uses criteria based on level of confidence to define Proven, Proven + Probable and Proven + Probable + Possible categories of fluid in place and reserves. The proposed definitions are compared with the systems of definitions currently in general use and the advantages are outlined. The methods of application of the proposed definitions are detailed and their application to prospects, discoveries and producing fields are discussed.

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