DEFINITION of 'Possible Reserves'

An estimate of the amount of oil or natural gas reserves that may be available for extraction. Reserve figures are broken into two primary categories according to theoretical accuracy: proved and unproved. Unproved reserves carry more uncertainty, and are further broken into "probable reserves" and "possible reserves", the latter of which has a lower probability of being recovered.

BREAKING DOWN 'Possible Reserves'

Because of the geological complexity surrounding natural resource exploration, oil reserve figures are more of an approximation than an exact estimate. Estimates are typically revised as more information on the geological makeup of a particular reserve is uncovered. In addition, technological advances may increase the amount of oil or gas that can be recovered, as less of the natural resource will go to waste as efficiency increases.

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RELATED FAQS
  1. How does an oil and gas company measure and state their reserves?

    Understand how oil and gas companies estimate possible reserves and how different classifications are used to designate the ... Read Answer >>
  2. What is the difference between proven and probable reserves in the oil and gas sector?

    Learn how those in the oil and gas sector classify oil reserves and the specific differences between proven and probable ... Read Answer >>
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    Understand what the Federal Reserve is and what it regulates in the U.S. economy. Learn about the reserve ratio and how the ... Read Answer >>
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