From EOR to CCS: The evolving legal and regulatory framework for carbon capture and storage

1st January 2008

Topic(s): Carbon capture use and storage (CCUS), Policy law and regulation

Carbon capture and storage has been proposed around the world as a potentially key technology for reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. The United States oil and gas industry has a long experience in transporting, injecting, and effectively storing CO2 in tertiary oil recovery operations usually known as Enhanced Oil Recovery. As a result, there already exists a legal and regulatory framework that addresses many – but not all – of the issues that will need to be addressed if carbon capture and storage is to be adopted by policymakers as part of a carbon regulation regime. A review of that existing framework allows identification of those aspects that appear adequate to govern the sale, transport, and injection of CO2 for carbon capture and storage purposes as well as those that do not. Building on this analysis, the authors conclude that the current legal framework will be largely adequate from a transactional and interim standpoint to allow parties to structure a relatively seamless transition from CO2 storage that is an incidental result of oil production operations to those incremental injections of CO2 intended solely for permanent underground storage. The authors also suggest some possible approaches for crafting new rules to fill potentially remaining legal or regulatory gaps.


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From EOR to CCS: The evolving legal and regulatory framework for carbon capture and storage


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