Special Projects

Geotechnical Study for New Cavern Development

GeoTECHNICAL Study For New Cavern Development

Underground salt formations are used as a safe and cost effective method for waste disposal and storage of hydrocarbons or other forms of energy. The self-sealing and relatively impermeable properties of salt make salt caverns ideal for storage. However, loss of cavern integrity may cause fractures in the caprock and/or salt formation, product or waste seepage, and even severe consequences such as structural instability and roof collapse.

In the exploration and pre-development phase of a new cavern, a series of geotechnical testing is necessary to evaluate the structural stability, in situ stresses in the overlying strata, and creep and dilation properties of the salt. Designed to mitigate risks of potential cavern failure, BGES’ full geotechnical study includes the study of in-situ stresses and strains, containment properties of the rocks, as well as mechanical and chemical properties of the salt and confining formations.

Core analysis to evaluate properties and strength of the caprock and salt as well as the creep behavior of the salt
Cased-hole integrity inspection to demonstrate the integrity of casing and cement bonds
Mini-frac tests or DFITs to determine the fracture pressure, minimum in-situ stress, and maximum operating pressure
Geomechanical modelling to simulate and predict changes in in-situ conditions