December 16, 2020
Professor Tara Righetti, College of Law and School of Energy Resources (SER) at the University of Wyoming, and Kris Koski, Associate Lecturer at SER, co-authored a study on the industry of energy with the United States Energy Association (USEA).
The collaborative study is titled “Study on State Policies and Regulations Relating to CO2-EOR-Storage Conventional, ROZ and EOR in Shale: Permitting, Infrastructure, Incentives, Royalty Owners, Eminent Domain, Mineral-Pore Space, and Storage Lease Issues. “The full report is available here.
“We are extremely proud to have our faculty members at the forefront of a critical topic in energy development and to proactively work to support Wyoming and its economy,” said Holly Krutka, Executive Director by SER. âThis publication is an important step in bridging the gap between our energy research efforts and commercial implementation. “
The report – together with colleagues at the University of West Virginia – is a good example of faculty research directly supporting Wyoming’s economy and energy industry, Krutka says.
The study assesses the laws, policies and regulations governing CO2-EOR (Carbon Dioxide Enhanced Oil Recovery), the associated CO2 storage and geological disposal operations in 12 states and onshore federal lands. The study mainly consists of two regions: the Eastern region, made up of the Illinois Basin and the Marcellus Shale region; and the western region, made up of the Permian Basin and Rocky Mountain regions.
In anticipation of increased interest in CO2-EOR as a result of the amended 45Q (carbon capture) tax credit and the recently released draft Treasury regulations, it is increasingly important to legislatures and policymakers. policies to understand the legal and regulatory challenges for a more integrated and widespread implementation of CO2 storage, according to the study.
“With the recent extension of the 45Q tax credit and the passage of the House 200 bill requiring the use of carbon capture and storage modernization of power plants, we anticipate increased interest in legal and regulatory requirements. relating to CO2-EOR and geological storage, âsaid Righetti. “This report summarizes and illustrates the comparative completeness of Wyoming’s regulatory framework as well as the identification of opportunities for additional legislative and agency action.”
The project provides a comprehensive and comparative analysis of four dimensions of CO2 law, regulation and policy: land use rights, mineral, water and pore rights; regulation of CO2-EOR and CO2 pipelines; eminent domain; and geological storage of CO2 and regulation of incremental storage.
The study suggests possibilities for harmonizing energy policies and filling regulatory gaps and inconsistencies. The objective of the study is to facilitate a better understanding of the legal foundations that frame the risk, uncertainty and investment in the use and projects of CO2 infrastructure and storage; and provide a roadmap for changes conducive to the development of regional projects.
Koski says the report will also benefit private entities seeking to engage in energy development incentives.
âTaking a look at the inter-state and federal legal and regulatory landscape is the first step in any potential CO2 enhanced oil recovery or long-term storage project, âsays Koski. “This research not only helps identify regulatory gaps that legislatures can fill to spur such development, but it can also be helpful and save private enterprise time and money in planning such projects. . “
In addition to significant contributions to the state, the report provides much-needed support for UW students interested in working in the energy sector, according to Koski and Righetti.
âIn an energy economy in transition, with an increased focus on limiting CO2 emissions, potential CO2 injection projects could bring substantial revenue to Wyoming in the form of severance pay and mining royalties while offering employment opportunities for the professional field of our university. Management program students, âKoski says.
Research students from UW College of Law and West Virginia University College of Law were also involved in the report. Marissa Pridmore, a third-year Wyoming law student from Limon, Colo., Was one of eight law students who supported the project.
âWorking on the USEA project prepared me to work and interact with others in a COVID-informed online environment,â says Pridmore. âDuring the project, I also developed an interest in how the energy industry navigates federal regulations, and I continued to research and write about this area of ââlaw.â
The USEA hosted and recorded a webinar on December 3 for those interested in the study’s summary results. The authors discussed their work and presented possible ways forward with the information.