Analysis of cavern stability at the West Hackberry SPR site.

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Description

This report presents computational analyses that simulate the structural response of caverns at the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) West Hackberry site. The cavern field comprises 22 caverns. Five caverns (6, 7, 8, 9, 11) were acquired from industry and have unusual shapes and a history dating back to 1946. The other 17 caverns (101-117) 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 three-dimensional geomechanics model of the site that predicts deformations, strains, and stresses. Future leaching scenarios corresponding to oil drawdowns using ... continued below

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87 p.

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

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This report is part of the collection entitled: Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports and was provided by UNT Libraries Government Documents Department to Digital Library, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. It has been viewed 18 times . More information about this report can be viewed below.

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Description

This report presents computational analyses that simulate the structural response of caverns at the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) West Hackberry site. The cavern field comprises 22 caverns. Five caverns (6, 7, 8, 9, 11) were acquired from industry and have unusual shapes and a history dating back to 1946. The other 17 caverns (101-117) 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 three-dimensional geomechanics model of the site that predicts deformations, strains, and stresses. Future leaching scenarios corresponding 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 results in this report are relevant to Cavern 6. The cavern is shaped like a bowl with a large ceiling span and is in close proximity to Cavern 9. The analyses predict tensile stresses at the edge of the ceiling during repressuization of Cavern 6 following workover conditions. During a workover the cavern is at low pressure to service a well. The wellhead pressures are atmospheric. When the workover is complete, the cavern is repressurized. The resulting elastic stresses are sufficient to cause tension around the edge of the large ceiling span. With time, these stresses relax to a compressive state because of salt creep. However, the potential for salt fracture and propagation exists, particularly towards Cavern 9. With only 200 ft of salt between the caverns, the operational consequences must be examined if the two caverns become connected. A critical time may be during a workover of Cavern 9 in part because of the operational vulnerabilities, but also because dilatant damage is predicted under the ledge that forms the lower lobe in the cavern. The remaining caverns have no significant issues regarding cavern stability and may be safely enlarged during subsequent oil drawdowns. Predicted well strains and subsidence are significant and consequently future remedial actions may be necessary. These predicted well strains certainly suggest appropriate monitoring through a well-logging program. Subsidence is currently being monitored.

Physical Description

87 p.

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  • Report No.: SAND2009-2194
  • Grant Number: AC04-94AL85000
  • DOI: 10.2172/959096 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 959096
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc927342

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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

  • May 1, 2009

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Nov. 13, 2016, 7:26 p.m.

Description Last Updated

  • Dec. 2, 2016, 7:23 p.m.

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Ehgartner, Brian L. & Sobolik, Steven Ronald. Analysis of cavern stability at the West Hackberry SPR site., report, May 1, 2009; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc927342/: accessed December 11, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.