January 01, 2012

Resolving Ownership of Pore Space

Jean Feriancek

As we look at ways of mitigating carbon emissions at the same time as demand for energy continues to increase, geologic carbon sequestration (GCS) is seen as part of the solution. The subterranean pore space used for GCS potentially can include abandoned or producing oil and gas formations and reservoirs, coal seams, saline formations, and other types of aquifers or cavities. In order to implement a GCS project, one either needs to own the pore space into which carbon dioxide will be injected or obtain leases from the owners of the pore space allowing it to be used for that purpose. That is not always straightforward or easy to accomplish. Moreover, for GCS to have a real impact it would take hundreds of GCS projects in many states having differing real property laws.

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