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Risk Assessment of Gas Storage Caverns

The Industry Challenge:

Underground gas storage facilities in salt caverns, or depleted petroleum reservoirs, which are used to increase supply during periods of peak demand.

Assessing the risk associated with operating these storage facilities is complex due to a variety of threats including corrosion of the well equipment or geological instabilities such as salt creep or reservoir subsidence that can damage the well casing or cavern cap rock which can affect the integrity or operability of these facilities.

How We Help:

C-FER adapted a fault tree model approach to assess the various combinations of events that can occur in a gas storage well that would result in reduced operability of the well (either as reduced operating pressure or maximum flow rate) or in a release to the underground or atmosphere.

This was used as the basis for a quantitative assessment of the life safety, economic and environmental risk and how this risk increased with time. The facility operator used this assessment to prioritize maintenance activities and to plan future storage requirements.

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