The question of natural-gas supply is receiving careful consideration inmany parts of the country, as in the winter months it is quite a problem tohave on hand sufficient gas to satisfy the demand. Increasing the output ofwells by the application of vacuum has been tried with various results andlarge companies have attempted to keep up the supply with gas compressors. Thepossibility of storing natural gas in the sands of exhausted gas pools has beentried in a few instances with satisfactory results. This method may prove ofpractical value in solving the problem, especially in the case of towns thatformerly obtained gas from their immediate vicinity but now must search for newpools.
In all cases, only part of the available supply is utilized during the warmweather, so that many wells are shut-in, yet during the winter months, thesupply is not sufficient even with all the wells on the line; in such cases itwould be of great value if a large volume of stored gas were on hand, obtainedthrough wells that would have been standing idle during the summer.
Idle producing wells having considerable ?rock pressure? will force gas intothe exhausted, or storage wells, and this gas will be used only when theregular supply falls short (Fig. 1). If two gas wells of different pressuresare connected, the one having the greater pressure will feed the other, untilthe pressures are at an equilibrium. The same results will be obtained if anexhausted gas well is connected to a high-pressure gas line. High-pressurelines equipped with regulators near the town plant have considerable pressure, so that storage wells connected to such a line will receive gas from the lineas long as the line pressure is greater than the well pressure. During a periodof heavy consumption of gas, the pressure on the main line is greatly reduced, so that gas from the storage wells will flow into the lines. An arrangement ofthis kind will work automatically, the flow of gas into or from the storagewells depending on the pressure carried in the line.
It is advisable in most instances that the flow into and from the storage wellsbe regulated by means of gates, instead of automatically. In addition, thevolume of gas should be metered as it is forced into or passes from the wells;the pressure also should be noted. By properly charting the meter and pressurerecords, the characteristics of the individual wells may be determined.