Why is natural gas storage important?
Natural gas storage has an important role in maintaining the reliability of supply needed to meet the demands of consumers. Storage services serve as a buffer between production, transportation and distribution to consumers to ensure that adequate supplies of natural gas are available during seasonal demand shifts, unexpected demand surges or unexpected weather outages.
What is the location of the East Cheyenne Gas Storage Project?
Two depleted gas reservoir formations are located in north-central Logan County, Colorado, near the Nebraska-Colorado border. This location is in close proximity to the Trailblazer and Rockies Express interstate natural gas pipelines.
Why did East Cheyenne choose Logan County for the Project location?
While current and projected storage development on a national level appears to be keeping pace with aggregate storage demands, new underground storage development in the Rocky Mountain region has been virtually non-existent. Despite more than 9 billion cubic feet of new gas pipeline capacity into and out of the Rocky Mountain supply/market areas over the last decade, there has been less than a 0.2 % increase in new storage capacity built to support this ever expanding infrastructure. Lack of suitable geology has been the primary reason for the lack of new large scale underground storage development, though competition from pipeline expansions has also been a factor in dampening demand for new underground gas storage. East Cheyenne is one of four recently announced gas storage projects in the Rockies designed to meet the growing demand for gas storage in this growing supply and market area. The geological formations in this area contain existing gas and oil fields. With its close proximity to existing natural gas transmission lines, the selected site makes it a prime location for a storage facility.
How does natural gas get injected and withdrawn from the reservoir?
During the storage cycle, natural gas is taken in from the interstate pipelines and injected into the reservoir. When demand for natural gas reserves is higher, the gas is withdrawn from wells on the site. Gas flows from the reservoir back into East Cheyenne’s processing facility through a series of on-site flow lines, where impurities are removed before returning it to the interstate pipeline system. Both the injection and withdrawal of natural gas to and from these reservoirs will be aided by a new compressor station.
How safe are natural gas storage facilities?
Natural gas has been stored in underground reservoirs since the mid-1940’s. There are hundreds of underground storage facilities currently operating in the United States. The East Cheyenne Gas Storage Facilities will be designed and constructed according to regulatory and modern industry standards. All equipment used for the project will comply with state and federal regulations.
What is the size of the Project?
The Project will involve storing natural gas in depleted and still producing reservoirs encompassing approximately 2,400 acres, and an additional 3,600 acres around the field reservoirs will be maintained as a buffer. Total Project acreage is approximately 6,000 acres.
When will the Project begin and when will it end?
East Cheyenne Gas Storage received its FERC 7c certificate in August 2010 and expects the FERC Notice to proceed by May 2011. The project received the State of Colorado APCD air permit in January 2011.
Will the facility be manned on a regular basis?
Yes, full-time operators will be hired to run the facility.
Will having natural gas facilities on my land change the way I can use it?
When East Cheyenne acquires the right of way, or easement, from the landowner, the landowner will continue to own the property and have the right to farm and use the right of way area. Many landowners choose to plant small shrubs or gardens along the right of way. Permanent structures – trees, flagpoles, storage sheds, swimming pools, garages and swing sets anchored into the ground, for instance – are not permitted on the right of way because of the danger they may pose to underground pipe. State law requires that before you dig on or near the pipeline right of way, you must call 811, the universal “Call Before You Dig” number. You can call 811 from anywhere in the country. Your call is then routed to your local One Call Center for assistance in locating underground utilities, including pipelines. Knowing what’s below before you dig protects you and your family. Facilities located aboveground will be fenced off for security, and for the safety of residents and livestock.
How will East Cheyenne protects its natural gas facilities and the land around it?
East Cheyenne will be diligent about the annual maintenance and safety programs for inspecting and maintaining pipelines and storage facilities. Some examples of East Cheyenne’s safety focus include:
- Heavier-wall pipe is used at road crossings.
- Frequent inspections of the pipeline right of wayand other project facilities.
- An extensive prevention and detection program that provides for the prevention of accidents and the early detection of potential problems. Every operating East Cheyenne employee will have the responsibility and the duty to have the facility shut down in a safe and orderly manner if they feel conditions are unsafe.
- East Cheyenne’s entire system will be monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week by sophisticated electronic technology from its control center. If necessary, East Cheyenne can shut down the facility in seconds, at the first sign of any problem.