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Politics has been a major factor in many countries' development and use of hydrocarbon resources. Not generally known is that proved and potential hydrocarbon resource appraisals may be inflated or deflated because of political as well as economic considerations. For petroleum and natural gas, some producing countries have long used political means to establish "proved" reserves that may be far higher, or lower, than might be considered prudent. The case of Mexico (where oil and gas reserve estimates were inflated through political maneuvers because of that country's major borrowing needs) and others will be examined.
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