The Gas Research Institute (GRI) is currently involved in the development of concepts aimed at an enhancement of natural gas service to the consumer. In order to maintain the attractiveness of the gas options to industrial consumers, and to reinforce the "value-in-use" of natural gas to residential as well as commercial customers, it is essential to develop efficient, economical, and safe means of reducing the "cost-of-service", including that of natural gas storage in underground formations. Specifically, research and development (R&D) is needed to explore ways to better utilize existing storage fields and also to develop new storage facilities at minimum cost.
GRI is currently examining the feasibility of using foam in underground gas storage fields as a mobility control agent to reduce gas migration. Research is also being conducted to establish economic viability of substituting less-costly inert gas(es) for a portion of the base gas, to understand the gas-gas phase mixing behavior in gas storage fields via laboratory experiments and reservoir modeling, and to develop cost-effective gas separation processes using membranes.
This paper provides an overview of the GRI's Gas Storage R&D Program and highlights key results achieved to-date for selected research projects.