Active and Recently Completed Research Projects

The ongoing Research Projects were updated during the Spring 2022 Rapid City Meeting and summaries were briefly presented at the Business Meeting.

U2018-3 “Acquisition and Provision of Strain Measurements at Cavern Staßfurt BS13”

  • Project Team: ESK GmbH, Project Leader: Andreas Bannach, Team: Maurice Schlichtenmeyer, Sascha Rußig
  • Project Sponsor: Brandon Lampe (Agapito Associates)
  • Project anticipated to be completed in early 2023
  • Scope/Objective: The proposal is to acquire and provide temperature and strain measurements along a cemented production casing of a cavern well via a fiber optic system. Measurements run quarterly. The project goal is to demonstrate the capability of fiber optics to reliably acquire long-term strain and temperature measurements.

U2021-2: “Predictive tool (and predictions) for critical velocity for Configurations (iii) and (iv) without centralizers, Phase V (McGill)”

  • Project Team: McGill University, Project Owner: Prof. Michael Paidoussis
  • Project Sponsors: Joe Ratigan and Sophie Minas

Learned through phases I and IV: Both flutter and buckling can occur in brine strings. Annular flow is of paramount importance in brine string deformation (in both configurations, iii and iv). Recommended new well completion techniques:

  1. Stiff centralizers to mitigate annular flow impacts,
  2. Increased tubing diameter in the cavern depth interval to increase deformation stiffness,
    1. Radial flow at the tubing exit to allow for increased brine injection velocities.

(Completed) RFP2021-1: “Creep behaviour under small deviatoric stress”

  • Project Team:  Institut für Gebirgsmechanik (IfG, Christoph Lüdeling), Leibniz Universität Hannover, Abteilung Unterirdisches Bauen (Dirk Zapf), Chris Spiers (private consultant), GeoStructures Consultancy (Janos Urai)
  • Project Owner: Christoph Lüdeling (IfG)
  • Project Sponsor: Sam Voegeli
  • Scope:
  1. Review of existing studies (creep mechanisms, influence of microstructures, creep tests on rock salt)
  2. Modelling of creep at low stress (review of constitutive models, benchmark simulation)
    1. Recommendation for lab test program

(Completed) RR2022-3: “Evaluate the Thermal Expansion Coefficient of Damaged Rock Salt and the implications on the Thermal-Induced Stresses in Cyclic Storage Caverns”

  • Project Team: RESPEC, Stuart Buchholz (Project Owner): Evan Keffeler, TU Clausthal (Uwe Düsterloh)
  • Project Sponsor: Dirk Zapf
  • The proposed work is a follow up to the lab testing completed in 2020 (RR2020-2, Buchholz et al.). This proposal represents a different approach to measure the thermal expansion coefficient and elastic properties of damaged salt. If the results of the Phase I work show a significant difference from previous studies, finite element simulations will be performed to determine the effects of damage for high frequency cycling of storage caverns as a Phase II.
    • Phase I – Laboratory Testing (RESPEC): Uniaxial Thermal Expansion Tests, Porosity Measurements, Static Elastic Constant Measurements, Reporting and Presenting Results.
    • Phase II – Numerical Structural Simulations (TUC): Develop Cavern Model, Baseline Simulation with Constant Properties, Simulation with Changing Properties, Reporting and Presenting Results.

(Completed) RR2022-2 “Update SMRI’s Correlation of Chemical, Mineralogic, and Physical Characteristics of Salt to Deformation and Strength Properties (RSI/P-3869)”

  • Project Owner: Kerry DeVries (RESPEC)
  • Project Sponsor: Brandon Lampe (Agapito Associates)
  • Scope/Objective: Supplement existing SMRI correlation study with results obtained from over 40 years of salt testing performed by RESPEC (Existing research completed in 1995 based on 16 wells/locations). Database to include domal and bedded salts (Existing research only includes data from 12 Gulf Coast domes). Include wider range of mineralogic and chemical constituents (Bedded salts can contain greater quantities and different minerals than domes). Apply advanced statistical methods to compare with linear correlation analysis (Existing research used linear correlation only).