29. Are there regulations around CO2 storage?

Different countries, provinces and states have different levels of regulations related to CO2 storage. In the province of Saskatchewan, Canada, where the WMP took place and the Weyburn and Midale oilfields are located, the provincial government has extensive regulations governing the injection and storage of substances into the subsurface (including waste water, solvents and CO2) as well as regulations governing the maintenance of wellbores into oilfields and other formations. These standards govern all aspects of subsurface injection and storage, and do not isolate CO2 as a substance separate from others that might be injected underground. The regulations relate to the safety of injection practices and wellbores regardless of the substances being injected.

In the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) introduced regulations in 2012 related to the construction of wells specifically for CO2 injection. This type of well, called a "Class 6 Well," requires specific safeguards to assure the safe injection and storage of CO2.

The world's first standards for the safe geological storage of CO2 were finalised in 2012 by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA), and were developed to provide guidelines for future CCS operations in Canada and the United States. The CSA standards are also being considered as a basis for international standards. The WMP's research results, which included looking at wellbores and the measurement, monitoring and verification (MMV) of CO2, may also help inform future regulations as projects become more common in Canada and the rest of the world.