Enhancement of deliverability has always been a top priority for storage field operators. Historically, all available enhancement techniques have been tried, with varying and occasionally negative results. The recent and rapid development of horizontal drilling technologies has given storage operators another method for consideration.
There are several geological and reservoir engineering aspects in evaluating a potential horizontal storage well project. If favorable conditions exist, a multidisciplinary approach is needed for the design and implementation of a successful project. This paper discusses the methodology and results of a successful horizontal storage well project conducted jointly by Oklahoma Natural Gas Company ("ONG") and the Gas Research Institute ("GRI").
Underground natural gas storage offers the most efficient means of balancing pipeline supplies with widely fluctuating consumer demands. High deliverability from storage is of critical importance to the gas industry in general, and utilities like ONG in particular, for meeting the needs of its customers, especially during the peak demand periods of winter. Industry wide, underground storage is finding more and more uses, especially now that Order 636 is in place; however, deliverability remains the name of the game.
During the extreme cold snap of December 1989, and again during the East Coast winter storm of 1993, the important role of storage in providing the needed deliverability was highlighted. While the problem did not reach particularly critical stages in either case, it clearly indicated that the current gas storage and supply system in the U. S. is having increasing difficulties in meeting the gas demand.