Compact Comments
September/October 2007

Palin Focuses on Alaska’s Role in Energy Security at IOGCC Meeting

Gov. Sarah Palin stressed that Americans can no longer afford to warehouse Alaska’s vast resources during the Annual Meeting in New Orleans, La. Gov. Palin will serve as IOGCC's 2007-2008 chairman.

“Alaska will play an increasingly important role in oil and gas production within the United States,” said Palin. “We’ve developed only a fraction of our known reserves, and have many times this known amount awaiting discovery and commercialization.”

The governor further emphasized that building a gas pipeline is critical not just for Alaska’s future, but also as an essential component of our nation’s energy policy.

“The same foreign powers that control the world’s oil supply are beginning to control the supply of natural gas,” she said. “Alaska stands ready and able to supply our fellow Americans with an abundant, cheap clean source of energy for the future.”

Meeting results
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States Best Positioned to Regulate Carbon Dioxide Storage, Report Concludes

Washington, D.C.- States are the logical and best equipped entities to implement and administer regulations for the storage of carbon dioxide (CO2), according to the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC) Task Force on Carbon Capture and Geologic Storage.

Lawrence Bengal, Chairman of the IOGCC Task Force, said this framework is critical to moving carbon storage technologies forward, and implementing regulations at the state and federal levels will help the United States reduce its CO2 emissions.

“Following conservation, geologic storage of CO2 is among the most immediate and viable strategies for mitigating the release of CO2 into the atmosphere,” said Bengal. “We envision that the report will result in a substantially consistent system for the geological storage of CO2 regulated at the state and provincial level in conformance with national and international law. Given the proposed long-term care-taker role of the states, they are likely to be the best positioned to provide the necessary cradle to grave regulatory oversight of CO2 storage.”

The IOGCC Task Force, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and its National Energy Technology Laboratory, through a cooperative agreement with the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, has produced for the first time a clear and comprehensive model legal and regulatory framework for the geologic storage of CO2 that meets the unique requirements of each state or Canadian province.

The thirty member states and four Canadian affiliate member provinces of the IOGCC are well suited for regulation of CO2 because of their jurisdiction, experience, and expertise in the regulation of oil and natural gas production, particularly in the use of enhanced oil recovery (EOR), which uses carbon storage.

Scott Anderson, an Energy Policy Specialist for Environmental Defense and an observer to the Task Force deliberations, said that state oil and gas regulators have developed a set of model carbon storage requirements that are thoughtful, rigorous and not a walk in the park for industry.

"The IOGCC model rules will certainly be subject to revision as they are reviewed by more people and as more knowledge about geological sequestration is made. IOGCC's work, however, is a strong, major step forward in the ongoing conversation about how to do carbon sequestration right,” said Anderson.

The report recommends that states and provinces actively solicit public involvement in the process as early as possible and that the process is as transparent as possible. In addition the report stresses that CO2, which is generally considered safe and non-toxic, be viewed in a manner that allows beneficial uses of CO2 following removal from regulated emission streams. Contaminants and pollutants such as hydrogen sulfide, nitrogen oxide and sulfur oxide should remain regulated for public health and safety and other environmental concerns, the report says.

Additionally, the Task Force has proposed a two-stage Closure Period and Post-Closure Period to deal with long-term monitoring and liability issues. The operator of the storage site would be liable for a period of ten years after the injection site is plugged, unless otherwise designated by the state regulatory agency. At the end of the Closure Period, the liability for ensuring that the site remains a secure storage site during the Post-Closure Period would transfer to the state. A trust fund that is industry-funded and state administered would provide the necessary oversight during the Post-Closure Period. The trust fund would be funded by an injection fee assessed to the Carbon Storage Project operator and calculated on a per ton basis.

IOGCC Announces Retirement of Executive Director

After 14 years of hardwork and dedication, Christine Hansen, executive director of the IOGCC announced her retirement at the Annual Meeting in New Orleans, La.

Prior to becoming the executive director of the IOGCC, Hansen was in private law practice and had been a senior executive officer with two large utility companies. She worked for seven years as one of three Iowa Commerce Commissioners, regulating public utilities in Iowa.

The IOGCC would like to thank Christine for all the hardwork, dedication, guidance and success that she has brought to the IOGCC. She will be missed, and we wish her the best in her retirement.

Former associate executive director Gerry Baker will serve as acting executive director in the interim.

IOGCC Announces 2007 Stewardship Winners

IOGCC recognized five oil and gas related projects that demonstrate superior environmental stewardship at the Annual Meeting.

The annual Chairman’s Stewardship Awards recognize oil and natural gas organizations that have exceeded their regular duties to protect the environment.

Nominations were accepted in four different categories: Small Company, Large Company, Environmental Partnership and Energy Education.

Winners were Questar Exploration and Production, Small Company; BP America Production Company, Large Company; Cooperative Sagebrush Initiative, Environmental Partnership; Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce and Michigan Oil and Gas Producers Education Foundation, Energy Education.

For more information on winning projects log on to www.iogcc.state.ok.us/publications.

IOGCC Seeks Executive Director Applicants

The Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC) is seeking a skilled, energetic and resourceful manager and leader with background and experience rooted in energy issues to serve as Executive Director (E.D.). The E.D. carries out the policies and directives of the Commission and is the final authority on decisions or issues involving management of the IOGCC headquarters and supervision of its employees. The E.D. will monitor state, national and international actions concerning oil and gas conservation issues, maintain ongoing contact with key administration officials, congressional members and their staff on energy issues and monitor changes in appointments of IOGCC official representatives and committee members. Other responsibilities include preparation of budgets and quarterly reports, representation of IOGCC on appropriate national boards and organizations and coordination of the IOGCC Midyear and Annual meetings. The ideal candidate will have substantial professional work experience (10+ years preferred) in state or federal energy issues with prior state or federal legislative or government policy experience preferred, a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university with a J.D., M.B.A. or other advanced degree preferred, at least five years experience in managing people, projects and budgets, strong interpersonal communication skills with ability to advocate and educate effectively before a wide range of audiences including large group meeting and one-on-one meetings with governors, members of Congress and congressional staff. Salary is commensurate with experience and a competitive benefit package is included.

Submit a cover letter summarizing interest, qualification and experience (maximum of two pages) with a current resume and list of references by one of the following methods:

1. E-mail (preferred method): dan_seamount@alaska.gov

2. Fax: Attention: IOGCC E.D. Search
c/o Commissioner Seamount
(907) 276-7542

3. Mail: Attention: IOGCC E.D. Search
c/o Commissioner Daniel Seamount
Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation
Commission
333 West 7th Avenue, Suite 100
Anchorage, AK 99501

Applications must be received by end of business day, Friday, November 30, 2007.

Briefs

  • The state of Tennessee, with a unanimous vote, became an associate member state of the IOGCC at the Annual Meeting in New Orleans, La.

  • The IOGCC hosted an IT conference at the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. Wyoming has one of the most advanced and interactive web-based reporting systems in the country and the IOGCC wanted to take this opportunity to share this information with other IT departments of oil and gas producing states. Rick Marvel, engineering manager for the WOGCC explained the software development and system capabilities to those who attended the conference.

  • IOGCC received one of three Centennial Energy Advocates Education Awards, Sept. 13. The awards were one of the official Oklahoma Centennial events this year honoring key individuals, companies and organizations making a difference in Oklahoma’s energy industry.

  • Thomas Wright, chairman of the Kansas Corporation Commission, was appointed IOGCC official representative of Kansas and to the Legal and Regulatory Committee by Gov. Kathleen Sebelius. Doug Louis, district office supervisor of the Kansas Corporation Commission was appointed associate state representative of Kansas and to the Environment and Safety Committee.

  • Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne recently named high-ranking Fish and Wildlife Service official Randall Luthi to direct the Minerals Management Services.

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