Legal framework and guidance involving legal issues and regulation of CCS following from the CATO2 P

Legal framework and guidance involving legal issues and regulation of CCS following the CATO-2 programme

Publieke samenvatting / Public summary


The project focused on the relation between EHR (Enhanced Hydrocarbon Recovery) and carbon storage and the re-use of (depleted) reservoirs for carbon storage. The research was based on comparative legal research involving developments in the Netherlands, Norway and the United Kingdom. It concludes that some further streamlining of the applicable laws is needed to promote CCS. The project complemented previous research by members of the GCEL in WP 4.1 of the CATO-2 project conducted by GCEL.


CATO is the Dutch national R&D programme for carbon capture, transport and storage and involves a consortium of nearly 40 partners and comprises CATO-1, CATO-2 and now CATO-3. The last is funded by industrial partners and various government sources, including TKI, CLIMIT and EU ERA-NET. The CATO-2 programme aimed to facilitate and enable the integrated development of CCS demonstration sites in the Netherlands.

Project objective

This project assessed the legal framework around CCS and provides guidance involving some legal issues and the regulation of CCS following the CATO-2 programme. The topics covered concerned enhanced hydrocarbon recovery (EHR) and the management of nearly depleted oil and gas fields while aiming for CCS or the storage of CO2 biomass emissions.

Project results

Regarding the relation between EHR and carbon storage, the report argued that one of the recommendations would be to establish further guidelines covering the conjunction of the rules governing hydrocarbon production and carbon storage and the extent to which financial incentives promoting carbon storage could also be applied to EHR. As regards the re-use of reservoirs and installations, the report concluded that the legal regimes could be designed or interpreted to facilitate the re-use of reservoirs and installations. However, it was unclear who would be responsible for the reservoir and installations after production ceased. The report recommended further research into the issue and more research into the possibility to appoint an ‘operator of last resort’.