43. If I own the mineral rights beneath my land, will I be paid for CO2 storage?

The answers to this question vary and are determined by the regulations that govern CO2 storage and mineral extraction in different countries. CO2 is not a mineral, and so it is unlikely that the storage of CO2 itself beneath a piece of land would lead to payment for the mineral rights holders. However, if CO2 is being injected into an oil reservoir, leading to increased oil production, then the mineral rights holder would benefit depending on the royalty rate he or she has negotiated with the oil company. This is the case in the Weyburn and Midale oilfields, where increased oil production because of CO2 injection has led to increased royalties for mineral rights holders.

Oil and drilling companies in Canada also pay for what is called "surface rights" access. If landowners do not own the mineral rights beneath their property, they may still be paid a (yearly) fee for the placement of a CO2 injection well or oil production well on their property.

Storing CO2 in a deep saline formation or non-producing oil/gas reservoir is a different matter. Since there is no oil or other mineral production arising from storage, the pore space used for storage is not likely to lead to payment for the mineral rights holder; in Canada, the only compensation will be for surface access and the placement of well(s). The Province of Alberta in Canada announced, in 2011, that pore spaces are not a part of mineral rights and belong to the government. But regulations related to pore spaces and mineral rights vary widely by country, and should be investigated before storage projects are planned.