Governments, regulatory agencies, the petroleum and mining industries, the financial community, international organizations and professional societies worked together under the umbrella of the United Nations (UN) to develop a principles-based resource classification system -- United Nations Framework Classification for Fossil Energy and Mineral Reserves and Resources ("UNFC-2009") -- that is suitable for all extractive activities, whether mined as a solid or produced as a fluid through wells. The system is designed to be fully compliant with the SPE/WPC/AAPG/SPEE Petroleum Resources Management System (PRMS).

A key benefit of UNFC-2009 is that it provides a platform for harmonizing (mapping) classification systems in use around the world, and for translating volumes both within and between commodity sectors. Another benefit of UNFC-2009 is that it uses numbers instead of words for classification. Numbers transcend communication barriers created by differences in language and cultural references.

The system is designed as a three-dimensional framework where volumes are classified based on: (1) economic and social viability, (2) project status and feasibility, and (3) geological knowledge; however, it can also be represented in a practical, two-dimensional, abbreviated version. A task force formed by a UN expert group, the Expert Group on Resource Classification (EGRC), is studying the application of UNFC-2009 to classify injection projects. Work is also underway to extend the utility of UNFC-2009 to atomic energy and renewable resources. If successful, it will allow, for the first time, classifications and comparisons of projects across most energy sectors.

You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.