This paper presents a study of how the oil and gas industry has approached the demonstration of a "Reliable Technology" since the emergence of this as a formal reserves term in the US Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) modernized reserves regulations in late 2008. The paper summarizes the different technologies and the approach to reliability demonstration described in recent technical literature. It also investigates the target element of the reserves estimation procedure, such as expanding the Proved Area.
Through a review of published technical papers and other documents, this paper examines the industry's different views of demonstrating a "reliable technology." Sidle and Lee (2010a) proposed the scientific method as an approach to demonstrating the criteria were satisfied. Industry literature examples of seismic technology (to determine Proved Area) and numerical reservoir simulation (to determine recovery factor) are analyzed. Additionally, we examine the SPEE Monograph 3 (2010) procedure to understand the logic used to support reliability and compare it to the scientific method approach. This examination includes how the demonstration of analogy is important to estimate the resulting PUD reserves when technologies to define Proved Area are being considered. This is then compared to other examples of predictable commercial productivity of undrilled areas that do not meet the SPEE Monograph 3 (2010) requirements.
As industry seeks new technologies and approaches to demonstrating reliability, the status of how others have addressed these issues is valuable guidance. In providing both recent demonstration approaches and proposed technology, this paper provides a good reference on both what is currently being done to establish a proposed reliable technology and how this technology can be validated.