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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. securities regulators adopted rules giving investors a more complete picture of the oil and natural gas reserves that a company holds, the Securities and Exchange Commission said on Monday.
Under the new SEC rules that are supported by the energy industry, oil and gas companies will be allowed to disclose their probable and possible reserves to investors. Current rules require disclosure of only proved reserves, but many companies provide all three.
The SEC would also require companies to report oil and gas reserves using an average price based on the prior 12-month period, rather than a year-end price. That would help investors compare companies' reserve estimates and mitigate price distortions, the SEC has said.
Companies have to comply with the new reporting requirements after December 15, 2009.
"These updated rules consider the significant changes that have taken place in the oil and gas industry since the adoption of the original reporting requirements more than 25 years ago," John White, head of the SEC's corporation finance division, said in a statement.
Reporting by Rachelle Younglai; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe