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Many areas of the United States are suitable for the underground storage of hydrocarbons from both a geologic and an economic viewpoint. This potential for underground storage has not been explored or developed to any great extent along the eastern seaboard, although the need for underground storage continues to increase.
A growth in demand for clean fuels and changes in the availability of domestic natural gas supply for the eastern seaboard point to a present need for evaluating the potential for underground storage of gas supplies from other sources. Specifically, aquifer storage facilities for natural gas derived from domestic or imported sources and from increasing imports of liquefied natural gas, should be developed for both curve-shaping and peak-shaving requirements. This aquifer storage could be used to meet increasing gas demands resulting from population growth, particularly in inland areas excluded particularly in inland areas excluded from ready deliverability provided by LNG vaporization facilities. In addition, the same aquifer storage facilities could find a future use in handling supplies of gas from domestic synthetic natural gas.
Cavern storage of LPG or reformed products for the northeast should also products for the northeast should also be developed. Cavern storage would handle increased demands for products such as propane, butane, naptha, fuel, oil and propane, butane, naptha, fuel, oil and crude. The total potential for cavern storage has not been adequately assessed in terms of future needs.
The technical feasibility of both aquifer and cavern underground storage depends largely upon geologic conditions. The economic feasibility can readily be estimated by comparison with other storage operations. An analysis is made of existing geologic conditions (on a regional basis) and specific recommendations are made relative to the development of underground storage facilities along the eastern seaboard.