Official: Louisiana on Track for Carbon Well Permitting by Year-End

(Reuters) — Louisiana likely will receive permitting authority over wells designed to capture and store greenhouse gases by the end of the year, U.S. Congressman Garret Graves, who represents a southern section of the state, said on Tuesday.

The state, which houses a large number of refineries and other industrial facilities, has been vying for control over so-called Class VI wells from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Carbon injection wells have emerged as one of the oil and gas industry's preferred ways to lower greenhouse gas emissions.

Primacy, or permitting and enforcement authority, allows states to speed up approvals for these wells and better ensure investment dollars for massive carbon sequestration and storage hubs flow to the state.

Occidental Petroleum Corp. and Talos Energy have carbon capture projects proposed for Louisiana, while midstream firm EnLink is eying various carbon dioxide pipeline projects to connect emitters to storage sites.

"We're probably looking at final approval sometime in December or January," Graves said at an event hosted by the Bipartisan Policy Center. "If you look at the at the capacity of the state of Louisiana, they have substantially more expertise and capacity than the EPA does at this point."

North Dakota and Wyoming are the only two states with primacy and have been able to speed up the permitting of Class VI or carbon-injecting wells to months instead of years.

"We do know the EPA has told us we should have the proposed rule in the Federal Register before the end of May, which could make that timeline happen," said a spokesperson for the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources.

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