Reserves & resources Existing vs. commercially viable
When experts talk about crude oil and natural gas reservoirs, they distinguish between reserves and resources. If the volume of an oil or gas reservoir is described as a reserve, various criteria have to be met: for one thing, the reservoir has to be clearly proven and precisely documented. In addition, the oil or gas must be commercially recoverable using existing technology. The term “resources” describes all crude oil and natural gas accumulations that are known, but that cannot be produced commercially with existing technology.
The term is also used when there is not yet sufficient geological information about the exact size of the reservoir. It is the goal of oil and gas companies to convert resources into reserves with new developments in technology.