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EIA revises down oilsands reserve drop by about a third after data error

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CALGARY — The U.S. Energy Information Administration has revised down its estimate of how much oilsands reserves were taken off the books last year because of a data error.

In an updated brief out Tuesday, the EIA reports that 67 U.S.-listed companies debooked about 4.9 billion barrels of reserves in the oilsands, down from the 7.7 billion it reported Monday.

The EIA had included the 3.5 billion barrels of reserves debooked by Exxon Mobil, plus the roughly 2.8 billion barrels of reserves Imperial Oil (TSX:IMO) debooked, though Exxon had included Imperial's numbers in its own reporting as a 70 per cent owner of the company.

The writedowns came after the West Texas Intermediate oil price averaged US$43.44 per barrel in 2016, down 11 per cent from US$48.83 per barrel in 2015.

U.S.-listed companies are required to use price averages for the past year in calculating reserves, while Canadian rules allow companies to use forward-looking prices.

The Canadian Press



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