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UNFC development continues: key rules of application released for public comment

Published: 22 October 2012

Generic specifications (secondary rules of application) for the United Nations Framework Classification for Fossil Energy and Mineral Reserves and Resources 2009 (UNFC) were released today for public comment. Comments are invited from all relevant constituencies until 22 December 2012. All comments received will be made publicly available on the UNECE website.

The specifications have been prepared by a dedicated Task Force of the UNECE Expert Group on Resource Classification. The Task Force limited its work to those specifications considered necessary to achieve an appropriate level of consistency in the reporting of reserve and resource estimates under the system. David MacDonald, Chairman of the Expert Group and Vice President, Segment Reserves, BP Exploration, stated “It is critical that reserve/resource quantities – for any commodity – that are reported as UNFC compliant are sufficiently comparable to provide meaningful information to users of such data. The issuing of the draft specifications for public comment is a key step to achieving this goal”.

Specifications that were considered necessary for particular commodities such as solid minerals and petroleum were not addressed, as the Expert Group agreed these would be more appropriately incorporated in existing commodity-specific classification systems.

Consequently, in addition to the provision of generic specifications, there was a need to establish a linkage between the UNFC and these commodity-specific systems. This ensures that the appropriate specifications are applied at a commodity level for the purpose of reserve and resource assessments. The agreed framework for this linkage has been developed in the form of commodity-specific bridging documents for solid minerals, based on the Committee for Mineral Reserves International Reporting Standards (CRIRSCO) Template, and for petroleum, based on the SPE/WPC/AAPG/SPEE Petroleum Resources Management System (SPE-PRMS).

The draft Specifications and the accompanying Explanatory Report are both available for public comment on the UNECE website at:

For further information please contact: Charlotte Griffiths, UNECE Sustainable Energy Division, at:


Note to editors

Operating under ECOSOC Decision 2004/233, UNECE’s global work on the UNFC is carried out by the Expert Group on Resource Classification, whose key focus is the further development and global promotion and implementation of the UNFC.  UNFC, which is generic, intuitive and user-friendly, is the only modern classification system in the world to address the minerals, petroleum and uranium sectors using a single set of definitions and terminology. 

The UNFC is an umbrella classification system which is fully aligned with the key commodity-specific systems in place worldwide for minerals – the Committee for Mineral Reserves International Reporting Standards (CRIRSCO) International Reporting Template and for petroleum – the Petroleum Resource Management System (SPE-PRMS) of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), the World Petroleum Council (WPC), the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) and the Society of Petroleum Evaluation Engineers (SPEE). SPE-PRMS is also endorsed by the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG).

The UNFC is designed to meet the needs of four principal stakeholders or constituencies: (i) analysts of international energy and mineral resources; (ii) Governments – to manage their resources accordingly; (iii) industry – to provide data and information necessary to deploy technology, management and finance in order to serve the host countries, shareholders and stakeholders; and (iv) the financial community – to provide the information necessary to allocate capital appropriately so reducing costs. A strong code, offering simplicity without sacrificing completeness or flexibility, the UNFC paves the way for improved global communications which will aid stability and security of supplies, governed by fewer and more widely understood rules and guidelines. The efficiencies to be gained through its use are substantial.

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