Description: This report summarizes a series of three-dimensional simulations for the Bayou Choctaw Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The U.S. Department of Energy plans to leach two new caverns and convert one of the existing caverns within the Bayou Choctaw salt dome to expand its petroleum reserve storage capacity. An existing finite element mesh from previous analyses is modified by changing the locations of two caverns. The structural integrity of the three expansion caverns and the interaction between all the caverns in the dome are investigated. The impacts of the expansion on underground creep closure, surface subsidence, infrastructure, and well integrity are quantified. Two scenarios were used for the duration and timing of workover conditions where wellhead pressures are temporarily reduced to atmospheric pressure. The three expansion caverns are predicted to be structurally stable against tensile failure for both scenarios. Dilatant failure is not expected within the vicinity of the expansion caverns. Damage to surface structures is not predicted and there is not a marked increase in surface strains due to the presence of the three expansion caverns. The wells into the caverns should not undergo yield. The results show that from a structural viewpoint, the locations of the two newly proposed expansion caverns are acceptable, and all three expansion caverns can be safely constructed and operated.
Date: November 1, 2010
Creator: Ehgartner, Brian L. & Park, Byoung Yoon
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Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department