An operator must apply to and receive authorization from Saskatchewan's Ministry of Energy and Resources through the Integrated Resource Information System (IRIS), before licensing, recompleting or reclassifying a well associated with a specific storage project, as outlined in Section 17 of The Oil and Gas Conservation Act.
There are three application types in IRIS related to storage operations:
- Storage Project – A storage project means a development for the storage of hydrocarbon in underground reservoirs and salt caverns, and the disposal of wastes in salt caverns.
- Geothermal Project – A geothermal project means a development where geothermal energy is recovered through deep well(s). There are two main types of geothermal project; open-loop and closed-loop. An open-loop system includes: (1) withdrawing formation water for the purpose of extracting geothermal energy as part of an industrial process, and (2) disposing the cooling fluids into subsurface following the extraction of its heat content. In an closed-loop system, the source fluids are circulated in a sealed wellbore – heat exchange loop and there are no formation fluids to be withdrawn or fluids to be disposed. The geothermal project application is only applied to the subsurface activities.
- CO2 Storage Project – A CO2 storage project means a development that is the long-term isolation of CO2 in subsurface geological formations, and is primarily applicable to saline aquifers and depleted hydrocarbon reservoirs. It does NOT preclude to storage associated with hydrocarbon recovery – CO2 Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR), and does NOT include CO2 storage in unminable coal beds, basalt formations, shales, and salt caverns, and disposal of acid gas.