This chapter, from the book The Law of the Seabed, examines the legal issues associated with the use of sub-seabed transboundary geological structures including saline aquifers for storage or disposal purposes. It focuses on carbon capture and storage (CCS), specifically the disposal element in the CCS chain.
The chapter proceeds as follows. Section 2 provides a brief discussion of CCS focusing on the disposal or storage part of the chain, as well as the injection of carbon dioxide (CO2) as part of enhanced oil recovery (EOR) operations (CO2\EOR). Section 3 deals with CCS and CO2\EOR operations in transboundary formations, reviewing applicable international law requirements, such as the general duty to cooperate as well as the more explicit rules developed under the auspices of the London Dumping Convention (LDC) and its Protocol (PLDC). It also examines the implications of Articles 74(3) and 83(3) of UN Law of the Sea Convention (UNCLOS) for the situations in which one party may be proposing to engage in CCS operations in an area of overlapping maritime entitlement claims in the absence of an agreed delimitation. Section 4 examines existing boundary delimitation agreements and joint development agreements in order to assess the extent to which they may apply to CCS and CO2\EOR operations. Section 5 recognizes that straddling hydrocarbon deposits are frequently developed through unitization agreements between the parties who hold the hydrocarbon exploitation rights from each state on either side of the maritime boundary. This section considers how this model might be applied to the situation where a shared formation is being used on one or both sides of the maritime boundary for CCS operations. Section 6 provides conclusions.