Underground Gas Capture and Storage

Injecting gas into the subsurface can be done for many reasons. The natural gas that is injected into the subsurface can be made up of number of molecular compositions. Hydrocarbon gases are often stored in reclaimed oil and gas reservoirs, aquifers, and salt caverns in Underground Natural Gas Storage Facilities (UNGSFs). Today, geoscientists and engineers are also developing systems and infrastructure to capture greenhouse gases (GHGs), like carbon dioxide (CO2).

The reasons for storing and capturing natural gas are varied and all extremely important. UNGSFs play an important role in current energy supply and distribution systems, The main goal of UNGSFs is to keep consumer energy costs consistent and predictable. DIG works with many pipeline operators to help gas solve storage issues.

Capturing CO2 has become an important part of sustainable practices for many energy utilities. Permanent storage or retaining the gas for future utilization can be the reason for injection of CO2. The reasons are variable, but the primary objective is to retain all the gas in the subsurface reservoir. Whether the goal is to sequester greenhouse gases (GHGs) or utilize the gases for another purpose, the main goal is to have a competent underground reservoir that does not leak to the atmosphere.

Monitoring the underground gas capture and storage facilities and infrastructure is where DIG excels. Subsurface geochemistry is what we do. As geochemists and chemical engineers, DIG understands that the gases that are involved in storage and capture subsurface systems can contain multiple molecular components that all must be considered for successful retention or utilization. Well integrity must be monitored and DIG possesses the analytical skills and expertise to do it.

In most cases, the common denominator between these two systems is capture. If operators are building the infrastructure to capture the gas, no matter what the composition, it is most important that the gas does not leak to the atmosphere. Once it is injected, the primary objective is to hold the gas in the ground. Monitoring the efficiency of the capture is critical.