UNECE and SPE team on reserves

A memorandum of understanding between the UN and the SPE paves the way for a global reserves system.

The Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) and the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to develop ‘one globally applicable harmonized standard’ for reporting fossil energy reserves and resources. The standard will ensure ‘consistency and transparency in financial reporting.’


The SPE, World Petroleum Council (WPC) and the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG), have developed definitions for reserves and resources. In 2004, the UN Economic and Social Council passed resolution 2004/233 inviting UN member states to ensure worldwide application of the UN Framework Classification for Fossil Energy and Mineral Resources (UNFC).

Ad-Hoc Group

The UNECE has now created an Ad Hoc Group of Experts on the Harmonization of Fossil Energy and Mineral Resources Terminology in which the SPE plays a key role. The Group of Experts provides a forum for stakeholders to assist in defining the needs to be met by the classification, its definitions, specifications and guidelines, and a vehicle for recommending their application. Under the MOU, SPE will facilitate the development of the texts of a globally harmonized common standard.


Meanwhile, speaking at the 2006 Ryder Scott reserves conference last month, John Ritter, chairman of the SPE Oil and Gas Reserves Committee, said the SPE is about to publish what will be a key document in reserves definition, a handbook of practical examples using the SPE 2007 definitions. The summer issue of the Ryder-Scott newsletter contains a lengthy report from the conference, including an ‘alphabet soup’ of stakeholder organizations such as CERA, the IASB, the US FASB, the minerals industry’s Combined Reserves International Reporting Standards CRIRSCO and the United Nations Framework classification above. More reserves soup from ryderscott.com.

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