46. If there is a leak, who will be responsible for fixing it?

While different countries and jurisdictions may have different rules, generally speaking if there is a leak at an active CO2 storage site, fixing the leak would be the responsibility of the operator. In the case of the Weyburn and Midale oilfields in Saskatchewan, both of the oil companies (Cenovus and Apache, respectively) are required to maintain wells, pipelines, and infrastructure at their oilfields according to regulations and laws put in place by the provincial government. A leak of CO2, either from a pipeline or from the reservoir through a wellbore, would require immediate action from the companies, which have response protocols in place.

Once a storage site has been closed and a company is no longer operating the facility, different governments have different laws in place determining who is responsible for long-term safety and maintenance of CO2 storage. In the province of Alberta, Canada, the provincial government has taken on long-term liability of stored CO2 once a site is no longer active, and will be responsible for assuring that any leaks are fixed and that wellbores are maintained.