The U.S energy information administration provides a lot of critical information about the underground storage of gas. They explore these areas in detail and are one of the most important sources of information whenever considering the construction of a natural gas storage. In order to understand natural gas storage, we have to look at the various ways in which it can be stored which can either be underground or above ground. Each of the storage methods has its own physical characteristics as well as advantages and disadvantages. Whenever considering which one to construct it is vital to go through all these different aspects.
Various types of underground natural gas storage facilities exist today. These include mines, aquifers, salt caverns, depleted reservoirs, and hard rock caverns.
The most common here in the United States are the depleted gas reservoir. This is a storage facility that builds on a previously existing natural gas reservoir which can then be modified in such a manner that it can handle artificial injections of gas. It is usually cheaper to construct but also faces a myriad of issues such as their geographical location in respect to the market of the gas. It is therefore important not to make any assumption based on a general observation about gas storage. Aquifers can also be used for gas storage. They, however, require the construction of various other facilities that go hand-in-hand with gas storage from scratch this may add to the expenses during the construction period. They also require significant investigations into each one individually as to establish their suitability to handle gas storage. They also require much more cushion gas in order for them to begin operation and much of this gas may be physically unrecoverable as it permanently goes into the porous and permeable rocks.
Whenever one or a business undertakes the obligation to construct a gas storage facility underground, there are a number of services required from the involved contractors. These include a company capable of providing engineering services, supervision of exploration of the area as well as design considerations. It is also expected that the company is able to provide service facilities and handle the associated feasibility study. Another important aspect of the construction process if the provision of regulatory services, as well as the provision of environmental and social impact assessments which are also government requirements. Seismology and geological studies also have to be conducted before construction can commence. Companies that have been doing this for a number of years are best suited to handle these types of contracts. Experienced construction companies may also help in the financing of such projects as this is usually a great undertaking even for big companies. Once construction of the storage facilities is complete, the company involved in the construction will require to join the facility to a pipeline that will then deliver the gas to the target market area.
There are various benefits of having an underground facility they include the safety of those living near the facility as well as ensuring uninterrupted supply of gas.