Environmental concerns are no stranger to the oilfield which must address emerging issues such as climate change-related regulation, persisting issues such as those related to hydraulic fracturing, operational issues such as permitting and waste disposal, and historical soil and groundwater contamination issues often resulting in cleanup requirements or litigation. Our lawyers have represented clients involved with these issues in matters ranging from counseling to agency investigations to litigation. Our understanding of the unique facets of this business gives us important insight to apply to solving environmental challenges faced by the industry.
Carbon Capture and Storage - A new opportunity for the energy industry
With increased demand for clean energy and the development of additional sources of power, comes the by-product of carbon dioxide (CO2) and how to efficiently handle not only its disposal and storage, but the key areas of law and policy relevant to carbon capture and sequestration.
For years, CO2 has been injected underground to enhance oil or gas recovery; however, carbon storage is a relatively new technology. Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is the technology for capturing CO2 as it is released from power plants, oil refineries or other sources of CO2 emissions, and transporting that carbon for injection into suitable underground geologic formations. In many cases, the ideal location for these gases is depleted oil or gas fields, salt domes or shales, among others.
Handling the various aspects of CCS requires lawyers who not only understand the myriad of regulatory requirements, business implications and legal issues surrounding CCS, but that also have experience working within this emerging area of the energy sector.
Our lawyers have substantial experience working with the issues surrounding CCS including those being handled under various state, regional and national climate change programs. We have worked with clients in dealing with the legal issues that develop at different stages of the CCS business, including compression and transportation, storage locations and construction, and injection into underground formations. Additionally, because of our experience in the traditional areas of the energy, oil & gas industries, we are keenly positioned to advise clients in regards to key legal issues regarding CCS including:
- Investment and ownership of CCS storage facilities
- Construction of storage facilities
- Property rights
- Creation and ownership of “carbon credits” in cap and trade programs
- Trading and accounting of credits
- Short and long term liability issues