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UNFC and Petroleum

Effective resource management in a globalizing economy requires accurate assessments of petroleum resources. The recoverable quantities must be described and categorized in a manner that is consistent with scientific and social/economic information describing the economy as well as with the information describing the projects to recover them.
 The United Nations Framework Classification for Resources (UNFC) aims to serve the following four principal needs:
  1. The needs in international energy and mineral studies to formulate robust and long-sighted policies.
  2. The needs of governments in managing their resources accordingly, allowing market prices to be transferred to the wellhead with as little loss as possible.
  3. The industries' needs for information while deploying technology, management and finance to secure energy supplies and capture value efficiently within the established frameworks to serve its host countries, shareholders and stakeholders.
  4. The financial community's need for information to allocate capital appropriately, providing reduced costs and improved long-sightedness through the application of lower risk-compensated discount factors.

The projects are categorised with respect to economic and social viability, project feasibility and maturity and uncertainty with respect to the quantities addressed. The categorisation of projects rather than of accumulations provides coherence with other critical management information such as production, cash flows, value and demand for various input factors.
This key aspect of UNFC reflects the critical relationship between the quantities that can be recovered economically and the recovery processes (projects) that must be implemented to achieve those recoveries. It facilitates the recognition of potential wastage of resources through flaring or inefficient recovery processes and therefore also the potential for improvement.

Petroleum Specifications 

Supplementary Specifications for the Application of the United Nations Framework Classification for Resources to Petroleum 


UNFC has been bridged to the Petroleum Resources Management System (PRMS).
UNFC has been bridged to the Russian Federation classification of reserves of oil and combustible gases.
UNFC has been bridged to the National Standard of the People's Republic of China “Classification for Petroleum Resources/Reserves (GB/T 19492-2004)”
The petroleum resources on the Norwegian Continental Shelf is now also reported according to the UNFC Classification.


Global Resource Classification Systems for Oil and Gas: A Review and Comparison using SWOT Analysis

Petroleum Working Group

Petroleum Working Group develops specifications, guidelines and best practices for petroleum resources.