WSP was selected by a major U.S. midstream company to manage the development of a cavern to store ethane, a natural-gas-liquid derivative.
Cavern permitting was completed early in the project, which enabled a quick turnaround on securing the drilling permit. WSP inspected the client’s existing leaching facility, including tanks, pumps, piping, valves and controls to ensure they were ready for operation.
Following inspection, WSP reconditioned and installed pumps, valves and meters. A 2,000-horsepower, triple-electric drilling rig was mobilized at the site to safely drill the massive well to the required depth in the natural salt-dome formation.
“Reusing existing assets was important to help keep costs as low as possible,” said Klaus Buschbom, WSP USA senior vice president, drilling and well interventions. “Drilling and completions wrapped up at about the same time that the overhaul of the leach plant was finished, which set the stage for leaching to begin.”
WSP provided the specialized operations staff and expertise to safely circulate water and produce brine, thus creating the underground cavern. As the cavern neared completion, the brine was pumped into several injection wells—which had been drilled by WSP and approved by the appropriate regulatory body—for safe disposal in underground formations. Leaching was expected to take more than a year to complete, at which time the well would be tested and put into service storing ethane.