A national Natural Gas Storage Work Group released today a report on underground gas storage that evaluates potential vulnerabilities at gas storage operations and identifies prospective regulatory responses for consideration by state and federal agencies.
Most underground gas storage facilities have safe histories of operation and allow large supplies of gas to be stored during times of low demand, and withdrawn from storage when demand for natural gas is high; thereby reducing the need for larger transmission pipelines and allowing for continuous supply of gas in the event of supply interruptions. However, when an accident occurs it can have dramatic impacts to public health, safety and the environment.
The work group, which was led by states from across the country and was organized by the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission and Ground Water Protection Council, developed the report “Underground Gas Storage Regulatory Considerations” to serve as a resource for regulatory agencies and includes input from experts in academia, industry, non-profit organizations, and other state and federal agencies.
Underground storage of natural gas is a critical element in the U.S. energy supply and distribution system and plays an essential role in maintaining the reliability of natural gas supplies and ensuring stable prices for consumers, according to the report.
The 130 page report addresses the regulatory framework of underground gas storage, risk management, state permitting, well drilling and construction, well integrity, reservoir integrity, monitoring, and emergency response planning among other topics.
“A lot of thought and expertise went into this report,” said Hal Fitch, Work Group co-chair and division director for Michigan’s Oil, Gas, and Minerals Division, Department of Environmental Quality. “We believe it will be a great resource for state and federal agencies as they work to enhance their oversight of gas storage in the U.S.”
The full report is available online at www.statesfirstinitiative.org.
States First is a STATE led effort. Governors, regulators, and policy leaders from oil and gas producing states across the country have partnered with the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission and Ground Water Protection Council in this endeavor.
The Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission is a multi-state government organization with a mission to conserve and maximize domestic oil and natural gas resources while protecting health, safety and the environment. The Ground Water Protection Council is a national association of state water-protection officials.