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Pilot Abandonment Test of a Very Deep Gas Storage Salt Cavern

J. G. Durup 1, * F. Vidal 1 C. Rolin 1
* Corresponding author
Abstract : As a result of knowledge gained initially from a series of succinct sealed well and cavern field tests performed in the late 1980s and early 1990s by Gaz de France (EZ58; EZ53), issues related to the long term abandonment of salt caverns became more focused. The tests were performed in cooperation with École Polytechnique (France) and were partially funded by the Solution Mining Research Institute (USA). The long-term abandonment (sealing or plugging) of a solution-mined cavern in a salt formation that has been used for mineral production, hydrocarbon storage, or waste disposal has been a contemporary topic for many years. Sealing and abandonment of caverns in salt formations differs from sealing of an oil and gas well principally for two reasons: - cavern wells are generally completed with much larger casings than oil and gas exploration and production wells; - the cavern fluid pressure rises after sealing. The first difference is not a significant deterrent to effective cavern sealing and abandonment. Essentially all of the uncertainties and complexities associated with cavern sealing and abandonment are a direct result of the second difference – the fact that the cavern fluid pressure rises through time. After a short introduction to solution mining of salt caverns and their use as underground gas storages, the paper will first discuss the factors affecting cavern fluid pressure increase after sealing. The second part of the paper will highlight the practical impacts of these factors on a deep salt cavern abandonment experiment (Cavern TE02; 1500 meters deep), currently being performed on the natural gas storage of Tersanne operated for over 35 years by Gaz de France.
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J. G. Durup, F. Vidal, C. Rolin. Pilot Abandonment Test of a Very Deep Gas Storage Salt Cavern. Oil & Gas Science and Technology - Revue d'IFP Energies nouvelles, Institut Français du Pétrole, 2007, 62 (3), pp.287-296. ⟨10.2516/ogst:2007024⟩. ⟨hal-02005659⟩

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