Energy > Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage

Overview

Climate-focused commitments by governments and businesses have created an unprecedented level of demand for emissions-reducing technologies. Currently, carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) is perhaps the only technology that can significantly reduce emissions from large-scale industrial operations. As such, CCUS is playing a pivotal role in the energy transition and is set to become a major focus in the next decade.

Representative Matters

  • Representing a leading oilfield services company focused on low-carbon and carbon-neutral energy technologies in its joint venture to develop a groundbreaking bioenergy with carbon capture and sequestration project designed to produce carbon negative power in Mendota, California, and qualify for the IRS Code Section 45Q tax credit.
  • Counseling an energy company in the development and monetization of a potential carbon sequestration hub along the U.S. Gulf Coast.
  • Advising an oil and gas company, with a long history of EOR projects, on all aspects of the company’s shift in operations to focus on CCUS.
  • Regularly file Class VI injection permits on behalf of clients pursuing CCUS projects.
  • Advising a global technology solutions companies on qualification for IRS Code Section 45Q tax credit for carbon capture and “utilization” of CO2.

Services In-Depth

Cutting-Edge Practice

Our multidisciplinary focus on CCUS projects spans the spectrum from transactional and tax to regulatory and policy issues.

More than ever, the tax incentives for CCUS projects have taken center stage. Our cutting-edge team takes an innovative approach to helping clients leverage the tax credits vital to these projects. We help market participants seamlessly navigate the intricacies of Section 45Q, low-carbon fuel standards (LCFS) and renewable identification numbers (RINs).

Further, we understand the scale of the task at hand from our experience advising on numerous CCUS and related infrastructure projects. We have seen that CCUS projects take, on average, more than five years from conception to commissioning, and our lawyers have advised on every stage of this complex process.

From a public law and policy perspective, our lawyers closely track the ever-evolving state and federal regulations impacting CCUS. As we look to the future, CCUS will play an increasingly important role in governments’ greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction strategies and market-based programs, such as cap-and-trade and carbon taxes.

Further, our environmental and regulatory lawyers have been instrumental in updating CCUS policies, even helping our clients expand the definition of what qualifying gases can be utilized. We help companies submit necessary permitting, monetize the environmental attributes (including in the carbon markets) and substantiate emissions reduction claims in the face of growing Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) disclosure requirements and consumer protection laws.

Strength Across the Energy Value Chain

Akin Gump has a global presence with 20 offices worldwide, a traditional energy platform and geographical legacy with four offices in Texas, and a stronghold in renewables with three offices in California. With decades of experience in the energy sector, our multidisciplinary CCUS team has a substantial footprint in the oil patch, as well as renewables and power generation.

Our clients include traditional oil and gas companies pivoting to clean energy, investment management funds and sponsors focusing on CCUS technologies, start-ups capitalizing on the CCUS movement and entities pushing to reform policy. For decades, we have assisted oil and gas clients with enhanced oil recovery (EOR), CO2 offtake agreements, and well and pipeline contracts. We bring this relevant experience to bear when advising on CCUS projects.

Industry-Leading Experience

Akin Gump understands the critical building blocks, as well as the roadblocks, for CCUS projects. Our cross-practice team has deep experience advising on the full gamut of such issues, including: