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Specifications for application of UNFC to injections projects for geological storage of CO2 released for public comment

Specifications for application of UNFC to injections projects for geological storage of CO2 released for public comment

Specifications for the application of the United Nations Framework Classification for Fossil Energy and Mineral Reserves and Resources 2009 (UNFC) to injection projects for geological storage were released today for public comment until 15 September 2015.

The initial and main focus of the specifications is on classifying injection projects related to the geological storage of carbon dioxide (CO2), but they could also be applied to other types of injection projects for storage in geological formations, for example natural gas. Geological CO2 storage in the context of carbon capture and storage (CCS) refers to the containment of CO2 in deep subsurface geological “reservoirs”, with the purpose of isolating the CO2 emissions from the atmosphere. The views of all stakeholders are being sought to ensure development of a robust set of specifications that could be used by governments, regulators, industry and financiers.

This work is important for the future development of CCS. A reliable estimate of CO2 storage capacity is a vital aspect of site selection.

The specifications were prepared by a task force of the UNECE Expert Group on Resource Classification that is led by Karin Ask of Statoil and comprises representatives from the British Geological Survey, Illinois State Geological Survey, Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, and OMV, amongst others. The International Energy Agency also has been a key contributor. David MacDonald, Chair of the Expert Group on Resource Classification and BP, noted “There are currently no official or formal classification systems for the geological storage of CO2 and UNFC offers a valuable starting point.”

UNFC has been developed by the Expert Group on Resource Classification under the auspices of UNECE and is applicable to all extractive activities worldwide. Work is underway to broaden its application to encompass renewables. Draft guidelines for the application of UNFC to uranium and thorium were recently issued for public comment.

Scott Foster, Director of UNECE’s Sustainable Energy Division, stated “If the world is to succeed in limiting emissions of CO2 to levels consistent with a less than 2°C rise in global temperatures, then CCS will be needed. CCS is the only technology option other than energy efficiency and shifting to lower carbon fuels that can deliver net emissions reductions at the required scale. This work will help industry, policymakers and regulators structure permitting for CO2 storage.”

The draft specifications are available for public comment on the UNECE website at:
For further information please contact:
Charlotte Griffiths, UNECE Sustainable Energy Division, at:

United Nations Economic Commission for Europe

Information Unit

Tel.: +41 (0) 22 917 12 34


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