Geologic technical assessment of the Stratton Ridge salt dome, Texas, for potential expansion of the U.S. strategic petroleum reserve.

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Description

The Stratton Ridge salt dome is a large salt diapir located only some ten miles from the currently active Strategic Petroleum Reserve Site at Bryan Mound, Texas. The dome is approximately 15 miles south-southwest of Houston. The Stratton Ridge salt dome has been intensively developed, in the desirable central portions, with caverns for both brine production and product storage. This geologic technical assessment indicates that the Stratton Ridge salt dome may be considered a viable, if less-than-desirable, candidate site for potential expansion of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). Past development of underground caverns significantly limits the potential options for use ... continued below

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42 p.

Creation Information

Rautman, Christopher Arthur; Snider, Anna C. & Looff, Karl M. (Geologic Consultant, Lovelady, TX) November 1, 2006.

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Description

The Stratton Ridge salt dome is a large salt diapir located only some ten miles from the currently active Strategic Petroleum Reserve Site at Bryan Mound, Texas. The dome is approximately 15 miles south-southwest of Houston. The Stratton Ridge salt dome has been intensively developed, in the desirable central portions, with caverns for both brine production and product storage. This geologic technical assessment indicates that the Stratton Ridge salt dome may be considered a viable, if less-than-desirable, candidate site for potential expansion of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). Past development of underground caverns significantly limits the potential options for use by the SPR. The current conceptual design layout of proposed caverns for such an expansion facility is based upon a decades-old model of salt geometry, and it is unacceptable, according to this reinterpretation of salt dome geology. The easternmost set of conceptual caverns are located within a 300-ft buffer zone of a very major boundary shear zone, fault, or other structural feature of indeterminate origin. This structure transects the salt stock and subdivides it into an shallow western part and a deeper eastern part. In places, the distance from this structural boundary to the design-basis caverns is as little as 150 ft. A 300-ft distance from this boundary is likely to be the minimum acceptable stand-off, from both a geologic and a regulatory perspective. Repositioning of the proposed cavern field is possible, as sufficient currently undeveloped salt acreage appears to be available. However, such reconfiguration would be subject to limitations related to land-parcel boundaries and other existing infrastructure and topographic constraints. More broadly speaking, the past history of cavern operations at the Stratton Ridge salt dome indicates that operation of potential SPR expansion caverns at this site may be difficult, and correspondingly expensive. Although detailed information is difficult to come by, widely accepted industry rumors are that numerous existing caverns have experienced major operational problems, including salt falls, sheared casings, and unintended releases of stored product(s). Many of these difficulties may be related to on-going differential movement of individual salt spines or to lateral movement at the caprock-salt interface. The history of operational problems, only some of which appear to be a matter of public record, combined with the potential for encountering escaped product from other operations, renders the Stratton Ridge salt dome a less-than-desirable site for SPR purposes.

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42 p.

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  • Report No.: SAND2006-7159
  • Grant Number: AC04-94AL85000
  • DOI: 10.2172/899080 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 899080
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc880914

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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

  • November 1, 2006

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 22, 2016, 2:13 a.m.

Description Last Updated

  • Nov. 28, 2016, 6:33 p.m.

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Rautman, Christopher Arthur; Snider, Anna C. & Looff, Karl M. (Geologic Consultant, Lovelady, TX). Geologic technical assessment of the Stratton Ridge salt dome, Texas, for potential expansion of the U.S. strategic petroleum reserve., report, November 1, 2006; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc880914/: accessed October 15, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.