IEAGHG Modelling and Risk Management Network Meeting includes an Keynote address on Class VI specifications from Lynn Helsm, of the North Dakota Industrial Commission.


By James Craig

28 June 2018

  A highlight of the recent combined Modelling and Risk Management Network meeting was the inclusion of a keynote address from Lynn Helms, who is the head of North Dakota’s Industrial Commission.Lynn’s contribution was exceptional because the state’s Industrial Commission now has Primacy for all six classes of wellbore disposal and is the only state in the Union to have this delegated authority.THE US Environmental Protection Agency holds this status in all the other 49 states.Lynn explained that a unique feature of land ownership in the USA includes the mineral rights and the pore space beneath properties.The authorisation of fluid disposal has to take account of mineral and pore space rights.Consequently the Industrial Commission needs to be aware of the distribution of any plume created by injected CO2 and its Area of Review.A minimum of 60% of all pore space owners within the plume area must agree to any proposed injection site.The other 40% have to concede that their pore space is relinquished but they must also receive compensation.Significantly, CO2 subsurface storage is classified as a public interest initiative and, as such, the pore space is treated as a resource not as a waste disposal option.During the active storage operation actual observation feedback from monitoring needs to be compared to model predictions.This exercise has to be repeated every 5 years.Operational reviews might lead to changes in monitoring requirements.At the cessation of injection the site operator must be able to prove beyond reasonable doubt that CO2 is stable and not leaking.A financial resource to cover the cost of post-closure monitoring or remediation will be raised from a trust fund on each tonne of CO2 stored.This concept emerged following the impact and clean-up from a major diesel spill in Mandan ND.Lynn’s address was positively received by all the delegates particularly as network meetings do not often include a regulator of this statute who is directly responsible for CO2 storage.

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