Cavern Storage

Itasca provides solutions for storage of natural gas or compressed air in lined and unlined caverns. Our diverse team with expertise in analyzing geo-structural interaction, geomechanical, thermal and creep coupled problems assesses the stability and long term performance of storage caverns due to combinations of critical loading conditions in singular and group cavern settings by means of 2D and 3D numerical modeling.

In the lined cavern case, the liner (usually steel shell) provides containment for the pressurized fluid, while the surrounding rock supports and confines the structure. In the unlined cavern case, the fluid is contained in caverns usually solution mined in bedded or domal salts. Creep behavior and thermo-mechanical coupling are important means of assessing the stress conditions when evaluating stability of such caverns.

Our services include:

  • Site characterization and cavern placement
  • Cavern stability analysis
  • Casing integrity assessment
  • Subsidence analysis
Rock wedges around the cavern for a case, shown in 3DEC.
Displacement vectors and magnitude contours in the concrete lining, shown in FLAC3D.
Rock wedges forming around the cavern due to cavern pressurization for continuous and discontinuous jointing, shown in UDEC (left) and predicted vertical and horizontal tangential strains along the cavern wall, modeled in FLAC (right).

References

Brandshaug, T., M. Christianson, and B. Damjanac, 2001. Technical Review of the Lined Rock Cavern (LRC) Concept and Design Methodology: Mechanical Response of Rock Mass. Prepared for U.S. Department of Energy, National Energy Technology Laboratory (Morgantown, West Virginia), Prime Contract No. DE-AM26-99FT40463, Subcontract No. 735937-30000, 85 pages.

Damjanac, B., C. Carranza-Torres, R. Dexter, 2001. Technical Review of the Lined Rock Cavern (LRC) Concept and Design Methodology: Steel Liner Response. Prepared for U.S. Department of Energy, National Energy Technology Laboratory (Morgantown, West Virginia), Prime Contract No. DE-AM26-99FT40463, Subcontract No. 735937-30001-02, 59 pages.

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