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Lugert, Courtney M.1, Langhorne B. Smith1, Richard Nyahay1, Stephen Bauer1 
(1) New York State Museum, Albany, NY 
(2) Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM

ABSTRACT: Brine Injection Potential in Upstate New York: Making Salt-Cavern Storage Work in Areas Remote to Ocean Disposal

Salt caverns are ideal for natural gas storage because of high deliverability rates and short cycle times. New York has salt in the Silurian Salina Group, which in the south central portion of the state it is thick enough to make caverns that meet industry standards. Currently within the state there are two operational salt-cavern storage facilities and several others in various stages of completion. The greatest obstacle to completion of many of these salt caverns is disposal of the brine created during cavern devolvement. The purpose of this study is to systematically analyze potential formations for their ability to accept brine within the area where the salt is thick enough and deep enough for cavern development. 
We are limiting our analysis of potential brine disposal reservoirs to sandstones and carbonates (excluding shales) that have acceptable reservoir characteristics. We are now conducting a more detailed reservoir characterization on the potential targets. Our research includes porosity and permeability studies, sequence stratigraphy, mechanical stratigraphy (fracture distribution) and more. Final deliverables will include detailed analysis of usable salt distribution and potential brine reservoirs with maps, cross sections, core analysis and more. At this point in the study, the most promising prospects include the Ordovician Queenston Formation and Trenton/Black River Groups and the Cambro-Ordovician Beekmantown Group. Using New York as a representative model, we will establish a system model to be used in other regions where brine disposal is a barrier. This talk will present the current results of our efforts towards this research.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90026©2004 AAPG Annual Meeting, Dallas, Texas, April 18-21, 2004.