Underground storage of hydrocarbons

The storage of liquid and gaseous hydrocarbons has grown strongly in the last few decades, owing to increasing consumption and the need to guarantee energy-supply continuity.

Underground storage has considerable advantages over above-ground storage:

  • It is safer and protects stored products against all external aggressions, including fire, explosion, natural risks (tsunamis, earthquakes) and safety-related risks. As such, it protects the environment by considerably limiting the impact that these hydrocarbons could have with respect to these types of risks. Underground storage also limits visual, olfactory and noise pollution.
  • It minimises the amount of land required, freeing up land for other uses, be they agricultural or industrial.
  • Storage in an anaerobic environment safeguards the quality of the products over time.
  • Underground storage is also cost effective and can be used for substantial volumes – up to several hundred thousand tonnes per site depending on the technique used.

All these aspects make underground storage the most rational solution for storing hydrocarbons wherever large quantities are involved, to the point of practically eliminating the possibility of other alternatives.

Main products suitable for underground storage:

  • Gaseous natural gas
  • Liquefied natural gas
  • Butane
  • Propane
  • Crude oil
  • Diesel
  • Gasoline
  • Naphtha
  • Heating oil
  • Condensates
Hydrocarbon underground storage

Underground storage of natural gas

To be stored, natural gas is injected under pressure:

  • at great depths, in porous rocks naturally filled with water, so-called “aquifers”, or in former gas or oil reservoirs the operation of which has ceased, referred to as “depleted deposits”;
  • at a depth of a few hundred metres, in “salt caverns”, hollowed out by a process of dissolution, known as “leaching”, in natural layers of salt.

It can also be stored at a depth of a few dozen metres, in a lined rock mined cavern.

Underground storage of liquid and liquefied hydrocarbons

Liquid hydrocarbons, such as crude oil and refined products, including LPG, can be stored in both mined and salt caverns.

Come tell us about your project

Geostock provides a complete range of services covering the entire life cycle of an underground storage project.

Contact us

Cavité minée – Mined Roeck Cavern
Control room of operated site
Shalapa site operated by Geostock