Prospective buyers of producing properties usually have insufficient time to thoroughly evaluate a divestment package. Determining the value of the unproved potential, which is often the difference between the successful and unsuccessful purchasers, is time-consuming and expensive. Having all of the needed data at hand in a well-organized system can significantly increase the effectiveness of an evaluation. CD-ROM and more advanced digital technology have proven to be efficient and cost-effective means of communicating the evaluation data needed by potential buyers.

Raw data that is not available electronically is scanned. Data available electronically is transferred directly to a readonly file or provided in downloadable format for user manipulation. Information on the CD-ROM can be viewed on-screen and printed as needed. Software to read and print scanned documents is free of charge and provided to the prospective buyer for use with most operating systems. The CD-ROM can be used on a network, allowing concurrent use by multiple evaluators.

Initial data organization, also required to set up a physical data room, continues to be the most time-consuming process. Software and hardware limitations have been encountered by both preparers of the information and by users, but technical advances continue to eliminate those problems. Making the information "user-friendly" is the objective in this environment of rapid technological change.

Reception by both sellers and prospective buyers has been good. Organization and maintenance of a data room and paper reproduction costs have been reduced substantially or eliminated entirely. Buyers eliminate or reduce their data collection time. Although there is no known documentation, many sellers believe they benefit by receiving higher bids for their properties. Well-organized, high quality data and adequate evaluation time allow prospective buyers to reduce the uncertainty of the valuation. Less uncertainty means higher-quality reserve categories and higher bids.

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