Commercial potential of natural gas storage in lined rock caverns (LRC)

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The geologic conditions in many regions of the United States will not permit the development of economical high-deliverability gas storage in salt caverns. These regions include the entire Eastern Seaboard; several northern states, notably Minnesota and Wisconsin; many of the Rocky Mountain States; and most of the Pacific Northwest. In late 1997, the United States Department of Energy (USDOE) Federal Energy Technology Center engaged Sofregaz US to investigate the commercialization potential of natural gas storage in Lined Rock Caverns (LRC). Sofregaz US teamed with Gaz de France and Sydkraft, who had formed a consortium, called LRC, to perform the study ... continued below

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Creator: Unknown. November 1, 1999.

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The geologic conditions in many regions of the United States will not permit the development of economical high-deliverability gas storage in salt caverns. These regions include the entire Eastern Seaboard; several northern states, notably Minnesota and Wisconsin; many of the Rocky Mountain States; and most of the Pacific Northwest. In late 1997, the United States Department of Energy (USDOE) Federal Energy Technology Center engaged Sofregaz US to investigate the commercialization potential of natural gas storage in Lined Rock Caverns (LRC). Sofregaz US teamed with Gaz de France and Sydkraft, who had formed a consortium, called LRC, to perform the study for the USDOE. Underground storage of natural gas is generally achieved in depleted oil and gas fields, aquifers, and solution-mined salt caverns. These storage technologies require specific geologic conditions. Unlined rock caverns have been used for decades to store hydrocarbons - mostly liquids such as crude oil, butane, and propane. The maximum operating pressure in unlined rock caverns is limited, since the host rock is never entirely impervious. The LRC technology allows a significant increase in the maximum operating pressure over the unlined storage cavern concept, since the gas in storage is completely contained with an impervious liner. The LRC technology has been under development in Sweden by Sydkraft since 1987. The development process has included extensive technical studies, laboratory testing, field tests, and most recently includes a storage facility being constructed in southern Sweden (Skallen). The LRC development effort has shown that the concept is technically and economically viable. The Skallen storage facility will have a rock cover of 115 meters (375 feet), a storage volume of 40,000 cubic meters (250,000 petroleum barrels), and a maximum operating pressure of 20 MPa (2,900 psi). There is a potential for commercialization of the LRC technology in the United States. Two regions were studied in some detail - the Northeast and the Southeast. The investment cost for an LRC facility in the Northeast is approximately $182 million and $343 million for a 2.6-billion cubic foot (bcf) working gas facility and a 5.2-bcf working gas storage facility, respectively. The relatively high investment cost is a strong function of the cost of labor in the Northeast. The labor union-related rules and requirements in the Northeast result in much higher underground construction costs than might result in Sweden, for example. The LRC technology gas storage service is compared to other alternative technologies. The LRC technology gas storage service was found to be competitive with other alternative technologies for a variety of market scenarios.

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OSTI as DE00774913

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  • Other Information: Supercedes report DE00774913

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  • Report No.: DE--AC26-97FT34348-02
  • Grant Number: AC26-97FT34348
  • DOI: 10.2172/774913 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 774913
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc717076

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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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  • November 1, 1999

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 29, 2015, 5:31 a.m.

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  • April 15, 2016, 1:49 p.m.

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Commercial potential of natural gas storage in lined rock caverns (LRC), report, November 1, 1999; Morgantown, West Virginia. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc717076/: accessed September 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.