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CO2 dump rules in South Australia, Western Australia and Queensland: none appear to deal with earthquake, water quality or leak risks, or, long-term liability

Posted by gmarkets on 19 September, 2007

South Australia had amended the Petroleum Act 2000 to include CO2 as a regulated substance which can be transported by pipeline. This Act also provides for the granting of a licence to store CO2 in natural reservoirs.

Western Australia: Western Australia introduced the Barrow Island Act 2003 (BI Act) specifically to facilitate the Gorgon project. The BI Act contains provisions relating to the construction and operation of a gas processing plant on Barrow Island. The BI Act has effectively amended the definitions of ‘petroleum’ and ‘pipeline’ in the Petroleum Pipelines Act 1969. The provisions of the Petroleum Pipelines Act 1969 apply as if there were included in the definition of “petroleum” in section 4(1) of that Act a reference to CO2. Despite paragraph (b)(ii) of the definition of “pipeline” in section 4(1) of the Petroleum Pipelines Act 1969, that definition is to be treated as including a pipeline for the conveyance of CO2 to a place on Barrow Island for the purpose of disposing of the CO2 in an underground reservoir or other subsurface formation. Section 13 of the BI Act lists the requirements for approval to dispose of CO2 underground.

Queensland: The Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Regulation 2004 was amended in December 2005 to allow for CCS testing. Section 5 prescribes CO2 as petroleum. CO2 is included in the definition of “petroleum” to enable evaluating or testing natural underground reservoirs for carbon geosequestration, on a particular block of the authority to prospect, under section 32(1)(d) of the Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Act 2004 (P&G Act). Testing can be conducted for two years from when the approved testing on a particular block starts. Ministerial discretion can extend the testing period for a further two years.

CCS provisions: The P&G Act currently provides for the transportation of CO2, a prescribed storage gas, by pipeline and storage by a petroleum lease holder, of CO2 in underground reservoirs. The current legislation has the potential to support injecting CO2 into deep underground
saline reservoirs. There is currently no regulatory framework for the long-term monitoring of the stored CO2 (including during the project and post closure) and no provisions for long-term liability.

Reference: This publication may be printed from or downloaded from the DME website at For copyright enquries telephone (07) 3237 1644 or send facsimile to (07) 3238 3188. The closing date for submission sis two months from the date of announcement by the Minister. Submissions can be sent by post, facsimile or email. Postal address: Mining Legislation Review, Mining and Petroleum, Department of Mines and Energy, PO Box 15216, City East Qld 4002 Facsimile: (07) 3238 3188 Email: Please note: This discussion paper is for public discussion and comment and does not commit the government or a Minister either to the views expressed in it or to a particular direction for future action. All submissions will be treated as public documents subject to the Freedom of Information Act 1992. Submissions may take the form of letters or emails addressing the questions asked in the paper, issues of concern, or a list of matters identified by page or section numbers, stating the issues arising and suggested solutions.

Erisk Net, 1/8/2007

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