The United States Energy Association (USEA), in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy (DOE), seeks proposals for a contractor to conduct a State-by-State assessment for the following states: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Wyoming, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah.
This assessment will review:
- The code of law informing legal philosophy in each state. For example, Louisiana operates under the Napoleonic Code of Law that may create specific considerations for CCUS technology application not found in other states.
- Mineral lease and ownership laws:
- How are accessible commodities prioritized for oil, coal, gas, drinking water, and other valuable minerals like lithium?
- How are surface rights treated?
- Who has legal right to the pore space for storage (precedent has been set decades ago in some states with natural gas storage)?
- Produced water disposal rights;
- Existing lease rights for coal that hold all the other minerals captive;
- Formation and/or depth restrictions in the mineral and pore space leasing requirements and how this pertains to shale leases vs conventional oil and gas leases, if at all.
- Unitization or forced pooling parameters:
- What is the procedure to create a unit?
- What is the percent in agreement threshold before forced pooling is triggered? (for example, Texas needs >98% acceptance before unitization can proceed. Other states require as low as approximately 65%.)
- Does this apply to CO2 geologic storage rights per each State;
- Municipal condemnation per each State for access to drinking water, and each State’s definition of drinking water? Does Municipal water access subordinate other resources? (Note: With recent advancements in water clean-up and purification, what was once considered non- potable as a resource can now be converted to potable.);
- State and Federal eminent domain procedures for rights of way for pipelines, etc. Since CO2 is not under FERC jurisdiction, eminent domain for interstate pipelines is not granted in a manner similar to that for natural gas;
- Whether a state or the Federal government has primacy over EOR, disposal and storage (For example, Pennsylvania defers to the US EPA);
- How each State treats the producer’s resource rights in reservoirs that extend over large areas, i.e., first “straw” in draws what it can, subordinating later producers;
- How do the States differentiate CO2 as a commodity or pollutant according to its source -- natural production, processed out from natural gas/helium production, captured from industrial/power generation processes, direct air capture or other means?
- Which States, for long term liability purposes, take title to the stored CO2 after a certain period of time?
- What fees, bond/escrow requirements and insurance specific to CO2 tied to long term liability are required?
- Who owns the CO2 in long term geologic storage if not the State? Where is ownership delineated?
- Which States differentiate subsurface storage mediums, such as man-made salt caverns, depleted oil and gas reservoirs, hard rock caverns, coal bed seams, brine reservoirs, etc. by different permitting regimes and ownership definitions?
- Which states have “do no harm” mineral conservation laws, and for which minerals and commodities does this apply?
- Definition of states’ “trespass” laws and regulations pertaining to when an operator’s CO2 migrates into a nearby non-CO2 EOR operator and affects that operator’s field characteristics and produced fluids/gasses.
- List States that have specific underground natural gas storage rules and regulations.
- List States that have specific CO2 storage rules and regulations. Have any states issued or addressed regulations for CO2-EOR in Shale and related processes different from conventional CO2-EOR?
- Identify/list by Tribe in the targeted States, special considerations for Tribal lands for CO2 storage above and beyond what is required on Federal lands for both conventional CO2-EOR and CO2-Shale EOR. How does Tribal Sovereignty affect captured and geologically stored CO2 on Tribal lands and what are the liability issues on tribal land if different from Federal lands?
- Any State laws current or pending on induced seismicity from mineral extraction, natural gas storage, CO2 storage and produced water disposal.
- Which states have current or pending legislation specific to lithium extraction? If so would they subordinate CO2 EOR and geologic CO2 storage?
The final paper should not exceed 150 pages in length excluding appendices, maps, or matrices.
Collaborations or consortiums are acceptable as long as there is a single lead contractor and point of contact.
The contractor will designate a primary contact to coordinate and provide monthly updates on the status via written high-level reports and conference calls between the contractor and USEA which will commence within the 15 days after the initial award is formally accepted and contracted. USEA will provide a primary contact to coordinate these activities with USEA.