Analysis of cavern stability at the Bryan Mound SPR site.

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Description

This report presents computational analyses that simulate the structural response of caverns at the Strategic Petroleum Reserve Bryan Mound site. The cavern field comprises 20 caverns. Five caverns (1, 2, 4, and 5; 3 was later plugged and abandoned) were acquired from industry and have unusual shapes and a history dating back to 1946. The other 16 caverns (101-116) were leached according to SPR standards in the mid-1980s and have tall cylindrical shapes. The history of the caverns and their shapes are simulated in a 3-D geomechanics model of the site that predicts deformations, strains, and stresses. Future leaching scenarios ... continued below

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57 p.

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Ehgartner, Brian L. & Sobolik, Steven Ronald April 1, 2009.

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Description

This report presents computational analyses that simulate the structural response of caverns at the Strategic Petroleum Reserve Bryan Mound site. The cavern field comprises 20 caverns. Five caverns (1, 2, 4, and 5; 3 was later plugged and abandoned) were acquired from industry and have unusual shapes and a history dating back to 1946. The other 16 caverns (101-116) were leached according to SPR standards in the mid-1980s and have tall cylindrical shapes. The history of the caverns and their shapes are simulated in a 3-D geomechanics model of the site that predicts deformations, strains, and stresses. Future leaching scenarios due to oil drawdowns using fresh water are also simulated by increasing the volume of the caverns. Cavern pressures are varied in the model to capture operational practices in the field. The results of the finite element model are interpreted to provide information on the current and future status of subsidence, well integrity, and cavern stability. The most significant result in this report is relevant to caverns 1, 2, and 5. The caverns have non-cylindrical shapes and have potential regions where the surrounding salt may be damaged during workover procedures. During a workover the normal cavern operating pressure is lowered to service a well. At this point the wellhead pressures are atmospheric. When the workover is complete, the cavern is repressurized. The resulting elastic stresses are sufficient to cause tension and large deviatoric stresses at several locations. With time, these stresses relax to a compressive state due to salt creep. However, the potential for salt damage and fracturing exists. The analyses predict tensile stresses at locations with sharp-edges in the wall geometry, or in the case of cavern 5, in the neck region between the upper and lower lobes of the cavern. The effects do not appear to be large-scale, however, so the only major impact is the potential for stress-induced salt falls in cavern 5, potentially leading to hanging string damage. Caverns 1 and 2 have no significant issues regarding leachings due to drawdowns; cavern 5 may require a targeted leaching of the neck region to improve cavern stability and lessen hanging string failure potential. The remaining caverns have no significant issues regarding cavern stability and may be safely enlarged during subsequent oil drawdowns. Well strains are significant and consequently future remedial actions may be necessary. Well strains certainly suggest the need for appropriate monitoring through a well-logging program. Subsidence is currently being monitored; there are no issues identified regarding damage from surface subsidence or horizontal strain to surface facilities.

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57 p.

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  • Report No.: SAND2009-1986
  • Grant Number: AC04-94AL85000
  • DOI: 10.2172/984647 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 984647
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc1012401

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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Creation Date

  • April 1, 2009

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Oct. 14, 2017, 8:36 a.m.

Description Last Updated

  • Oct. 19, 2017, 12:42 p.m.

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Ehgartner, Brian L. & Sobolik, Steven Ronald. Analysis of cavern stability at the Bryan Mound SPR site., report, April 1, 2009; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1012401/: accessed December 11, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.