TR-39, Oil and Gas Accounting and Finance Publications Reference Catalog


COPAS has many publications vital to onshore and offshore operations in the oil and gas industry. This blog provides the top ten must-have publications for your oil and gas accounting and finance library. The top ten may vary slightly on a case by case basis depending on whether the operations are onshore or offshore. 

Categories that Publications Fall Into

COPAS publications fall into the following five categories.

  1. Accounting Guidelines
  2. Model Form Accounting Procedures
  3. Model Form Modifications
  4. Model Form Interpretations
  5. Training and Reference Material

Accounting Guidelines (AG) 

These contain descriptions and examples of oil and gas accounting and/or auditing practices, methods, guidelines, and financial management for oil and gas companies. They also describe processes for specific accounting-related activities or functions and COPAS-recommended solutions.  They are not intended to interpret any specific provisions of agreements.

Model Form Accounting Procedures (MF)

These are designed to be an exhibit attached to a standard American Association of Professional Landmen (AAPL) Joint Venture Operating Agreement.

Model Form Modifications (MFM)

These change or add to the language of the model form. It must have an effective date and state that changes are prospective.

Model Form Interpretations (MFI)

These provide a clarification of intent of the model form. The MFI does not modify model form language. The MFI will quote the language being interpreted and give the reason for the clarification.

Training and Reference Material (TR)

These are learning materials including videos, training modules, programs, guides, and accounting and finance courses. This category also contains data compilations, surveys, discussion papers, and assimilations of regulatory data.

The Ten Must-Have Publications


MFI-48, Application and Calculation of Drilling Overhead, is a document laden with  examples of correctly determining and computing overhead charges.


MFI-44, Field Computer and Communication Systems.  Learn to equitably distribute these costs, regardless of ownership, properties served, or usage


MFI-40, 24-Month Accounting Adjustment Limitation.  Are there situations where charges might be allowed outside the 24-month adjustment period?  This document will help navigate those situations.


MFI-38, Materials Manual, provides guidelines in pricing material transfers and dispositions.


MFI-27, Employee Benefits and Percentage Limitation.  Provides explanations and lists of costs allowed in determining operator employee benefits limitations.


MFI-21, Overhead Principles is the overhead chargeability bible.


AG-29, Shared Well Pad Cost Allocations.  Have well pads shared by multiple wells?  This document discusses the concepts to be considered when allocating these costs.


AG-19, Expenditure Audit Protocols and AG-21, Revenue Audit Protocols are essential for any company engaged in contract compliance reviews.


AG-6, Oil Accounting Manual, and AG-15, Gas Accounting Manual are the key references for anyone dealing with revenue-related issues.


The Model Form Interpretation directly related to the Accounting Procedure that covers the well:

  • 1962 – MFI-1
  • 1968 – MFI-2
  • Arctic – MFI-3
  • 1974 – MFI-4
  • 1976 Offshore – MFI-5
  • 1984 – MFI-17
  • 1986 Offshore – MFI-19
  • 1995 – MFI-30
  • 1998 PTAP – MFI-39
  • 2005 – MFI-51
  • 2012 Deepwater – MFI-53

Other Publications to Consider for Your Library

  • MFI-45, Offshore Marine and Aircraft Allocations is chock full of examples and options, this publication is a good litmus test when considering allocation methodologies even for onshore operations.
  • MFI-35, Employee and Contractor Training Costs.  Addresses the chargeability for these costs when the operating agreement is silent or there is a conflict as to chargeability.
  • MFI-49, Employee and Contractor Awards. Contractors awards and bonuses are prevalent.  This publication will assist with determining what’s chargeable, covered by employee benefits or covered by overhead.
  • AG-23, Overhead Rate Negotiation and Calculation. As the title suggests, this provides excellent guidance for determining company overhead rates rather than expecting to find them in a table somewhere.
  • MFI-56, Rig-Related Costs.  Guidance as to how to handle accounting issues associated with mobilization, load-out, dead time, maintenance, repairs, rig moves, etc.
  • MFI-43, Joint Interest Expenditure Document Requirements. What is considered an adequate document for charges on the JIB? This publication explains.
  • AG-24, Notifying Non-Operators of Accounting Procedure Deviations. Operator guidance on how to obtain non-operator approval to directly charge costs in the absence of specific language or when an item might be considered to be covered by overhead.

The COPAS ePublication provides a single source option to access key COPAS Publications. The search criteria in this compilation allows the most effective and accurate method of searching keywords in COPAS publications. Enter any word or key phrase and all occurrences of this entry displays in the appropriate COPAS Accounting Guideline and Model Form Interpretation. Each PDF document highlights your keyword or phrase as you search through the publication.

COPAS’s ePublication product contains all AGs, MFIs, MFMs, and TRs. It is an annual subscription-based product, and an excellent value. Companies lease or rent access to the publications, but do not own the content through their annual subscription. 

Newly released documents will be provided as part of the annual subscription. If the subscription lapses for any reason, an initial subscription must be repurchased. Alternatively, individual publications can be purchased in hard copy or digital form from the COPAS website. Each is priced with member and non-member rates.

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