How is Natural Gas Stored?

Sep 10, 2021 | Natural Gas Facts

There is no one answer to ‘how is natural gas stored?’ You can store it in several different ways and for an indefinite period. Usually, the production and transportation of this gas take time, and it might not be in demand at that time. Besides, natural gas is a seasonal fuel that people use during winter, so it has lower demand in summer.

You can store natural gas in underground storage facilities like reservoirs and aquifers. Natural gas is also stored above the ground in storage tanks. These storage types have their characteristics, like permeability and retention capacity. Most of the United States’ natural gas is stored in depleted natural gas.

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Now, let’s look at how homeowners can store natural gas.

Base Load vs Peak Load Storage

The two reasons for storing gas are to meet baseload and peak load requirements. The baseload requirements make it possible to meet the seasonal demand.

Peak load storage facilities have high deliverability rates, meaning you can draw the gas from the storage reservoirs for use anytime. Although these facilities hold less gas than baseload facilities, they deliver small amounts. Salt caverns and aquifers are standard peak load storage.

Types of Underground Storage Facilities

There are three kinds of underground storage facilities: depleted reservoirs, aquifers, and salt caverns. As natural gas fills into these facilities, it builds pressure. Higher pressure in the storage well means faster extraction.

As the pressure drops, some gas remains at the bottom because there is nothing to push it up. The volume of gas that remains underground is called base gas. Working gas capacity is the size of the storage facilities.

Depleted Reservoirs

Depleted reservoirs exist when we deplete the gas in the well. These reservoirs became convenient because we can reuse the leftover equipment. This reduces the cost of converting the reservoir into a storage facility.

One of the things to consider when using a depleted reservoir for storage is, “Is it close to transportation infrastructure like interstate pipeline companies?”

Storage Reservoirs in the United States

The most common storage reservoirs in the United States are depleted reservoirs and natural aquifers, mainly in the Midwestern United States. Salt caverns are also common because of their high withdrawal and injection rates. Stating all the storage facilities has been a better way to answer the question ‘how is natural gas stored?

Contact us to get more information on how natural gas is stored.