Regulation on Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage Activities: Analysis on Scope and Roles of the Petroleum Act B.E. 2514 (1971)

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Piti Eiamchamroonlarp


Thailand is bound by international obligations to prevent operational activities relating to exploration for suitable reservoirs and injection of captured carbon steams into reservoirs located in its territorial waters, exclusive economic zones, and continental shelfs without permission and regulation. Although the Petroleum Act B.E. 2514 (1971) was not enacted to directly regulate carbon storage activities, it recognizes a right of a petroleum operator under the law to utilize the carbon captured from the petroleum production to enhance the production process. However, carbon storage exploration and storage of carbon captured from the place or site outside of petroleum exploration or production blocks are neither activities conducted to identify existence of petroleum resources in situ nor extraction of the discovered petroleum reservoir, but, conversely, to examine and inject the captured carbon steamed into the reservoir. Hence, carbon capture activities are not subject to Section 23 of the Petroleum Act B.E. 2514 (1971) and its regulatory regime. To overcome this regulatory gap, it is recommended that a special law with capability to serve as a legal basis for authorization of carbon capture and storage activities as well as to establish a regulatory vested with regulatory powers to regulate relating operational activities. Prior to promulgation of the special law, the Cabinet may empower the Department of Mineral Fuels to carry out operational activities or collaborate with other competent entities for acquisition of geological data and information for database development necessary to develop a database for carbon capture and storage activities in the future.

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