The Alberta government has recently drafted legislation, Bill 24, Carbon Capture and Storage Statutes Amendment Act, 2010, 3rd Sess., 27th Leg., Alberta, 2010 which clarifies ownership of pore space and that would, if passed, make Alberta the first province in Canada to enact comprehensive legislation to regulate large-scale carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects. Under Bill 24, the Alberta government would own subsurface pore spaces where carbon dioxide is stored and would assume long-term liability for injected carbon dioxide once project operators provide data that the gas is contained. Bill 24 would also create a special fund financed by CCS operators that would pay for future monitoring of underground carbon dioxide storage sites and any necessary remediation.

The Alberta Energy Minister, Ron Liepert, emphasizes that Bill 24 would ensure Alberta is on track to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and would also help to double Alberta’s conventional oil recovery which will generate billions of dollars for the province. In particular, the Alberta Carbon Capture and Storage Development Council estimates that carbon captured and used in enhanced oil recovery could produce an additional 1.4 billion barrels of oil from conventional reservoirs generating up to $25 billion in provincial royalties and taxes.