Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Ex-SEC Official Pushes For New Reserves Standards

Former SEC Dallas branch office head Harold Degenhardt has called for a push to change reserves accounting rules ($$$) in the oil industry.
"Now is the time to push your efforts with the commission to having some of your questions answered," Harold Degenhardt, the former head of the Fort Worth regional office, told an energy industry gathering.

Degenhardt said the commission under new chairman Chris Cox is more sensitive to the unintended consequences of policy. While Cox probably won't radically alter agency policy, "some relief" is possible, Degenhardt told a conference sponsored by the Energy Forum, a Houston group.


Degenhardt said he is troubled by the SEC's lack of responsiveness to a Feb. 2005 industry-sponsored report that called on the SEC to modernize the rules for calculating reserves, a major benchmark for valuing oil and gas companies. The SEC hasn't provided a substantive response to the report, which was authored by industry consultant Cambridge Energy Research Associates.

Without taking a position on CERA's new reserves classification system (something I wrote about last February), Degenhardt said that the industry should push for more action now that the CERA report is a year old and has elicited no comment from the government.