ERE Seminar: Mathew Ingraham, Ph.D., Sandia National Lab Salt Reservoir Mechanics
Salt Reservoir Mechanics
Mathew Ingraham, Ph.D.
Geomechanics Department | Sandia National Laboratories
Salt formations are ideal regions for geologic storage. Their extremely low
permeability, ease of mining, and propensity for creep means that they can be
relatively quickly developed, used for storage of all types of media (solid,
liquid, and gas) and are generally self-sealing to imposed damage in relatively
short geologic time frames. However, salt is a highly variable material where
even a small percentage (<1%) of water or impurity (ex. polyhalite, anhydrite,
clay) can drastically change the response to loading. Therefore, their fluid
nature causes problems with maintaining cavern stability, borehole integrity,
and bonds to surrounding lithologies. Despite the problems, salt remains one of
the preferred storage media for natural gas, oil, and nuclear waste.
Examples of salt mechanics from both the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (located
in the bedded Salado salt formation), and the Strategic Petroleum Reserve
(located in several gulf coast salt domes) will be discussed and efforts to
mitigate the problems with salt storage while operating effectively in this
ideal storage medium will be presented.
Sandia National Laboratories is a multimission laboratory managed and operated
by National Technology & Engineering Solutions of Sandia, LLC, a wholly owned
subsidiary of Honeywell International Inc., for the U.S. Department of Energy’s
National Nuclear Security Administration under contract DE-NA0003525.
More about the Speaker