34. Will land values be affected by CO2 storage?

The Weyburn area and the City of Weyburn (population approximately 10,000) have not experienced a reduction in property values because of the injection of CO2 in the Weyburn oilfield. The area has also benefited from "industrial tourism." Many national and international visitors come to tour the injection facilities and spend money on hotels and food while in the area.

Many issues affect the value of land and property. Economic conditions in in an area, and the location of a house or farm in relation to highways, railway lines and power transmission towers are just two of the factors that might adversely or positively affect the value of a property.

Some individuals and groups have suggested that CO2 storage projects might adversely affect property values in a community where a project is being planned because of perceived problems such as potential leakage or increased industrial activity. However, the Weyburn area has benefited substantially from the CO2 injection because the production life of the oilfield has been extended – and some property values above the injection zone and in the city have increased.

Figure 23. Visitors such as these, at Cenovus's Weyburn field, number in the hundreds - including scientists, regulators and politicians from around the world who want to find out about CO2 storage. Industrial tourism has proven to be a boon to the local community, but as CCS projects become more common this international interest will decline. (Photograph courtesy of PTRC)

Unlike a CO2-EOR project such as Weyburn, which results in additional oil production, a CCS project that is injecting CO2 only for storage may not create the same direct economic benefit, aside from the potential of increased economic activity and employment during construction of the CCS infrastructure.

Concerns about increased traffic and the location of injection wells in a CCS project are real issues for a community to consider. These are concerns that should be discussed between project planners and individual land holders who may be affected before a project is put in place. If potential project impacts are identfied and handled properly, property values should not be adversely affected by a CO2 storage project.