Observations on vapor pressure in SPR caverns : sources.

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The oil of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) represents a national response to any potential emergency or intentional restriction of crude oil supply to this country, and conforms to International Agreements to maintain such a reserve. As assurance this reserve oil will be available in a timely manner should a restriction in supply occur, the oil of the reserve must meet certain transportation criteria. The transportation criteria require that the oil does not evolve dangerous gas, either explosive or toxic, while in the process of transport to, or storage at, the destination facility. This requirement can be a challenge because ... continued below

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60 p.

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Munson, Darrell Eugene May 1, 2010.

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Description

The oil of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) represents a national response to any potential emergency or intentional restriction of crude oil supply to this country, and conforms to International Agreements to maintain such a reserve. As assurance this reserve oil will be available in a timely manner should a restriction in supply occur, the oil of the reserve must meet certain transportation criteria. The transportation criteria require that the oil does not evolve dangerous gas, either explosive or toxic, while in the process of transport to, or storage at, the destination facility. This requirement can be a challenge because the stored oil can acquire dissolved gases while in the SPR. There have been a series of reports analyzing in exceptional detail the reasons for the increases, or regains, in gas content; however, there remains some uncertainty in these explanations and an inability to predict why the regains occur. Where the regains are prohibitive and exceed the criteria, the oil must undergo degasification, where excess portions of the volatile gas are removed. There are only two known sources of gas regain, one is the salt dome formation itself which may contain gas inclusions from which gas can be released during oil processing or storage, and the second is increases of the gases release by the volatile components of the crude oil itself during storage, especially if the stored oil undergoes heating or is subject to biological generation processes. In this work, the earlier analyses are reexamined and significant alterations in conclusions are proposed. The alterations are based on how the fluid exchanges of brine and oil uptake gas released from domal salt during solutioning, and thereafter, during further exchanges of fluids. Transparency of the brine/oil interface and the transfer of gas across this interface remains an important unanswered question. The contribution from creep induced damage releasing gas from the salt surrounding the cavern is considered through computations using the Multimechanism Deformation Coupled Fracture (MDCF) model, suggesting a relative minor, but potentially significant, contribution to the regain process. Apparently, gains in gas content can be generated from the oil itself during storage because the salt dome has been heated by the geothermal gradient of the earth. The heated domal salt transfers heat to the oil stored in the caverns and thereby increases the gas released by the volatile components and raises the boiling point pressure of the oil. The process is essentially a variation on the fractionation of oil, where each of the discrete components of the oil have a discrete temperature range over which that component can be volatized and removed from the remaining components. The most volatile components are methane and ethane, the shortest chain hydrocarbons. Since this fractionation is a fundamental aspect of oil behavior, the volatile component can be removed by degassing, potentially prohibiting the evolution of gas at or below the temperature of the degas process. While this process is well understood, the ability to describe the results of degassing and subsequent regain is not. Trends are not well defined for original gas content, regain, and prescribed effects of degassing. As a result, prediction of cavern response is difficult. As a consequence of this current analysis, it is suggested that solutioning brine of the final fluid exchange of a just completed cavern, immediately prior to the first oil filling, should be analyzed for gas content using existing analysis techniques. This would add important information and clarification to the regain process. It is also proposed that the quantity of volatile components, such as methane, be determined before and after any degasification operation.

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60 p.

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  • Report No.: SAND2009-7747
  • Grant Number: AC04-94AL85000
  • DOI: 10.2172/986599 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 986599
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc1014845

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

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  • May 1, 2010

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Oct. 14, 2017, 8:36 a.m.

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  • Oct. 25, 2017, 4:07 p.m.

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Munson, Darrell Eugene. Observations on vapor pressure in SPR caverns : sources., report, May 1, 2010; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1014845/: accessed December 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.