Reserves are like fish

Proved Developed

  • The fish is in your boat.
  • You have weighed it, you can smell it and you will eat it.

Proved Undeveloped

  • The fish is on your hook in the water by your boat and you are ready to net it.
  • You can tell how big it looks (they always look bigger in the water).


  • There are fish in the lake and you may have caught some yesterday.
  • You may even be able to see them, but you have not caught any today (yet).


  • There is water in the lake and someone may have told you that there are fish in the lake.
  • You have your boat on the trailer but you may go golfing instead.

Contingent resources are also like fish

Has all the same physical certainty categories as Reserves but can’t catch, sell, or eat the fish because:

  • Market/ Infrastructure: The whole country is totally vegetarian. There are no refrigerated trucks to get the fish to market.
  • Political: You don’t have a fishing license.
  • Environmental:The fish is an endangered species.
  • Technological: The fish is poisonous and processing is dangerous, difficult, and very costly.The fish has so many bones that filleting is technically difficult

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