Oil and natural gas reserves
Eni’s criteria concerning evaluation and classification of proved developed and undeveloped reserves follow Regulation S-X 4-10 of the US Securities and Exchange Commission and have been disclosed in accordance with FASB Extractive Activities – Oil & Gas (Topic 932).
Proved oil and gas reserves are those quantities of oil and gas, which, by analysis of geoscience and engineering data, can be estimated with reasonable certainty to be economically producible, from a given date forward, from known reservoirs, and under existing economic conditions, operating methods, and government regulations, prior to the time at which contracts providing the right to operate expire, unless evidence indicates that renewal is reasonably certain, regardless of whether deterministic or probabilistic methods are used for the estimation. The project to extract the hydrocarbons must have commenced or the operator must be reasonably certain that it will commence the project within a reasonable time. Existing economic conditions include prices and costs at which economic producibility from a reservoir is to be determined. The price shall be the average price during the 12-month period prior to the ending date of the period covered by the report, determined as an unweighted arithmetic average of the first-day-of-the-month price for each month within such period, unless prices are defined by contractual arrangements, excluding escalations based upon future conditions. In 2013, the average price for the marker Brent crude oil was $108 per barrel. Net proved reserves exclude interests and royalties owned by others. Proved reserves are classified as either developed or undeveloped. Developed oil and gas reserves are reserves that can be expected to be recovered through existing wells with existing equipment and operating methods or in which the cost of the required equipment is relatively minor compared to the cost of a new well. Undeveloped oil and gas reserves are reserves of any category that are expected to be recovered from new wells on undrilled acreage, or from existing wells where a relatively major expenditure is required for recompletion. Since 1991, Eni has requested qualified independent oil engineering companies to carry out an independent evaluation23 of part of its proved reserves on a rotational basis. The description of qualifications of the person primarily responsible of the reserves audit is included in the third party audit report24. In the preparation of their reports, independent evaluators rely, without independent verification, upon data furnished by Eni with respect to property interest, production, current costs of operation and development, sale agreements, prices and other factual information and data that were accepted as represented by the independent evaluators. These data, equally used by Eni in its internal process, include logs, directional surveys, core and PVT (Pressure Volume Temperature) analysis, maps, oil/gas/water production/injection data of wells, reservoir studies and technical analysis relevant to field performance, long-term development plans, future capital and operating costs. In order to calculate the economic value of Eni equity reserves, actual prices applicable to hydrocarbon sales, price adjustments required by applicable contractual arrangements, and other pertinent information are provided. In 2013, Ryder Scott Company and DeGolyer and MacNaughton24 provided an independent evaluation of about 30% of Eni’s total proved reserves as of December 31, 201325, confirming, as in previous years, the reasonableness of Eni’s internal evaluations. In the three year period from 2011 to 2013, 92% of Eni’s total proved reserves were subject to independent evaluation. As of December 31, 2013, the principal properties not subjected to independent evaluation in the last three years are M’Boundi (Congo) and Elgin Franklin (UK). Eni operates under Production Sharing Agreements, PSAs, in several of the foreign jurisdictions where it has oil and gas exploration and production activities. Reserves of oil and natural gas to which Eni is entitled under PSA arrangements are shown in accordance with Eni’s economic interest in the volumes of oil and natural gas estimated to be recoverable in future years. Such reserves include estimated quantities allocated to Eni for recovery of costs, income taxes owed by Eni but settled by its joint venture partners (which are state-owned entities) out of Eni’s share of production and Eni’s net equity share after cost recovery. Proved oil and gas reserves associated with PSAs represented 49%, 47% and 51% of total proved reserves as of December 31, 2011, 2012 and 2013, respectively, on an oil-equivalent basis. Similar effects as PSAs apply to service and “buyback” contracts; proved reserves associated with such contracts represented 1%, 2% and 3% of total proved reserves on an oil-equivalent basis as of December 31, 2011, 2012 and 2013, respectively. Oil and gas reserves quantities include: (i) oil and natural gas quantities in excess of cost recovery which the company has an obligation to purchase under certain PSAs with governments or authorities, whereby the company serves as producer of reserves. Reserves volumes associated with oil and gas deriving from such obligation represent 0.8%, 1.1% and 1% of total proved reserves as of December 31, 2011, 2012 and 2013, respectively, on an oil equivalent basis; (ii) volumes of natural gas used for own consumption; (iii) the quantities of hydrocarbons related to the Angola LNG plant. Numerous uncertainties are inherent in estimating quantities of proved reserves, in projecting future productions and development expenditures. The accuracy of any reserve estimate is a function of the quality of available data and engineering and geological interpretation and evaluation. The results of drilling, testing and production after the date of the estimate may require substantial upward or downward revisions. In addition, changes in oil and natural gas prices have an effect on the quantities of Eni’s proved reserves since estimates of reserves are based on prices and costs relevant to the date when such estimates are made. Consequently, the evaluation of reserves could also significantly differ from actual oil and natural gas volumes that will be produced.
The following table presents yearly changes in estimated proved reserves, developed and undeveloped, of crude oil (including condensate and natural gas liquids) and natural gas as of December 31, 2011, 2012 and 2013.
(23) From 1991 to 2002 DeGolyer and McNaughton, from 2003 also Ryder Scott.
(24) The reports of independent engineers are available on Eni website eni.com, section Publications/Annual Report 2013.
(25) Including reserves of equity-accounted entities.