Discussion of this paper is invited. Three copies of any discussion should be sent to the Society of Petroleum Engineers office. Such discussion may be presented at the above meeting and, with the paper, may be considered for publication in one of the two SPE magazines.
Many of the large market areas, near which there is no "natural" storage, can be served from storage in large, deep excavations. We discuss the conditions needed and where they are expected, the appropriate mining plant and methods, the environmental effects, cost and time and the advantages attainable.
We are miners. We won't take time to tell you that gas storage is needed near many large markets. You know that better than we. You know the security of conventional underground storage. You know the capital costs and limited flexibility of surface storage and the opposition to it.
We expect you will appreciate the advantage of a storage into which you can put gas and from which you can recover it put gas and from which you can recover it at rates limited only by the design.
We remind you that natural gas has been stored in an unused coal mine north of Denver, in salt cavities in Michigan, Saskatchewan, Texas and Mississippi, and that pressurized butane, propane and ethane liquid and gas are held at more than 60 sites, in underground excavations in many kinds of rock. We believe that none of these storage spaces has any sort of lining. Each type has been in use from 10 to 25 years.
Please remember that the use of underground space is not new. Some of our prehistoric ancestors appreciated its advantages. The first space used was provided by Nature. However the spaces provided by Nature. However the spaces she provides are not always what your public needs nor where they need it. public needs nor where they need it. We shall show you what miners can provide and some of the tools.
Our concept is bassed on these related coincidences:
Strong rock is a fine medium for large stable, low-unit-cost excavations