Sandia National Laboratories
Exceptional service in the national interest
Sandia’s priority in subsurface storage applies expertise in underground energy storage to engage with commercial storage partnerships and work with industry and other national labs in building a national expertise in wellbore integrity that can be applied to oil, gas, and carbon storage. Subsurface energy storage is part of the broad natural gas energy pipeline network drawing on 400 subsurface storage sites. The abundance of natural gas, and the expansion of gas use for electricity, is motivating storage owners to maximize their capacity. In order to ensure energy surety, Sandia and partners must:
Sandia has been the geotechnical adviser for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), the world’s largest supply of emergency crude oil, for 40 years. We are responsible for characterizing the site, which includes cavern and well development, geomechanical analysis, ensuring the integrity of caverns and wells, subsidence, and monitoring. Sandia’s many subsurface capabilities enable us to support the major changes that are taking place at SPR in terms of life extension programs and the possibility of more dynamic fill/withdrawal operations.
Sandia’s expertise, coupled with drilling technology and cement seal research, makes Sandia capable of leadership roles in subsurface storage for hydrogen, helium, compressed air, natural gas, and oil products, including the identification and repair of existing well bores.
Sandia was asked to review the kill well procedure during the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage well leak. In response to the Aliso Canyon gas leak, Sandia was involved in helping to develop new state regulations, using science to ensure that well integrity is monitored. We are also reviewing the Aliso Canyon Root Cause Analysis as Subject Matter Experts and analyzing workplans for geologic, seismologic, and geomechanical hazards at the site.
Sandia teams with commercial partners to offer operational decision-quality modeling and analysis for cavern stability and dome-wide impacts of new cavern emplacement.
Sandia is responsible for establishing testing, certification, and monitoring procedures for, and predicting the long-term behavior of the SPR.
Sandia’s work for the SPR consists primarily of the following technical activities:
In addition to providing technology support to the SPR, Sandia works with industry and academic partners in the planning, development, and operation of underground salt caverns for the storage of liquid and gaseous hydrocarbons. Our focus is onsite planning, geological investigations, cavern and subsurface mechanics, wellbore integrity, oil chemistry, operational analyses and salt leaching analyses while also providing project support in materials, multi-phase fluid flow, engineering, turbulence/shock analysis and other areas of expertise.
We will continue to support the SPR, our partners, and industry by:
Browse all Sandia publications or search by author below:
Kyung Won Chang– Google Scholar list of publications.
Kirsten Chojnicki– Google Scholar list of publications.
David Hart– Google Scholar list of publications.