AGL Resources Begins Commercial Operation of New Natural Gas Storage Cavern in Texas

September 2010 Vol. 237 No. 9

AGL Resources announced Sept. 16 that the first natural gas storage cavern at its Golden Triangle Storage facility near Beaumont, Texas, has entered initial commercial operations. GTS anticipates commencement of full commercial service for approximately 6 billion cubic feet of working gas capacity upon completion of dewatering in December.

“Today – after two years of construction and cavern creation — we began injecting natural gas into Cavern 1 for our customers,” said Dana Grams, president of Pivotal Energy Development, a business unit of AGL Resources. “At the same time, we are on schedule to bring Cavern 2 into service early in 2012.”

Construction of the surface facilities began in May 2008. Solution mining began in February 2009 and involved injection and removal of water from the well drilled nearly one mile deep into the salt of the famed Spindletop Dome – site of the world’s first oil gusher. During the next 15 months, the water dissolved a cylindrical-shaped cavern in the salt tall enough to contain the Empire State Building.

Pivotal Energy Development is using the same process of solution mining, or leaching, to create Cavern 2. When the second cavern is completed, it is expected that the facility will be able to store enough natural gas to supply 250,000 households for one year – approximately 12 billion cubic feet of working gas capacity.

Cavern operations are supported by a 14,025-horsepower compressor system and dual 24-inch pipeline header interconnected to six measurement stations in Jefferson and Orange counties in Texas. The header and interconnect stations are bi-directional for injection and withdrawal by customers using the facility.