AGL Resources has been attempting to expand their Jefferson Island Storage & Hub natural gas salt dome caverns. AGL’s information about Jefferson Island Storage & Hub’s expansion is on their web site. It was copied from the web site on Oct 26, 2012. http://www.aglresources.com/about/jish_qa.aspx
From the website (blue) and comments (pink) sent to us –
Jefferson Island Storage and Hub Q & A
What is Jefferson Island Storage & Hub?
Jefferson Island Storage & Hub (JISH) is a salt dome natural gas storage facility owned by AGL Resources and located near Erath, Louisiana (Vermilion and Iberia parishes). At JISH, currently two underground salt caverns are used to store natural gas before it is put into pipelines and sent to residential and commercial customers throughout the state and country.
JISH has filed applications for permits for the expansion with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) to perform dredging operations at Lake Peigneur. Filed with the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources to drill two new brine extraction caverns in Lake Peigneur; three brine disposal wells on the existing JISH property, as well as permits for fresh water wells. JISH has also submitted permit applications with the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources to construct and operate pipelines from the plant to the new wells.
What does JISH want to do?
AGL Resources has applied for permits to expand the JISH storage space by adding two more caverns.
Why does JISH need new caverns?
The abrupt escalation of fossil fuel prices after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the instability of the Middle East emphasized the importance of reliable supplies of natural gas and oil in the United States. It was decided to expand JISH to ensure that AGL Resources always has abundant supplies of natural gas to meet its customers’ needs in a timely manner.
AGL Resources serves customers in Virginia, New Jersey, Tennessee, Maryland, Georgia, Illinois, Ohio, Florida and New York.
Some companies that control America’s natural gas are pushing for government approval to export gas overseas for higher profits on the international market, a move that will significantly drive up prices in the United States because this nation still imports more than 10 percent of its domestic needs.
Among the biggest expected customers for American gas exports: energy-thirsty China, other Asian nations, Europe, Caribbean and Bahamas
The company will not commit to storing only natural gas in the caverns, as the operating agreement allows for the storage of other resources including carbon dioxide and oil.
The company chose Jefferson Island because of the location’s potential for expansion. Company representatives could not promise that no additional caverns would be built after this project.
How will JISH create the new caverns?
JISH will use salt extraction to carve out caverns 1,500 feet below the lake bottom. Salt caverns are formed by injecting a water stream down a well bore in order to “wash” a cavity in a thick deposit of salt. The wall of the completed cavern is insoluble and impervious to leakages.
Where will the water come from for the process?
Water from the Chicot Aquifer will be used to create the new caverns. An independent engineering firm, URS Corporation of Baton Rouge, La., performed an analysis of the impact of the process on the Chicot Aquifer that confirmed that the Chicot has an abundant supply of water that will not be compromised by AGL Resources’ withdrawals. With 29,400 employees, URS Corporation is one of the largest engineering design firms worldwide and a leading U.S. federal government contractor (www.urscorp.com).
AGL Resources will use 5.18 million gallons a day… from the Chicot Aquifer. million gallons of water a day for at least 2 years to expand the two caverns. Plus any additional caverns built. The salt water will then be pumped into underground wells never to be used again, unlike farmers pumping well water.
Jefferson Island Storage & Hub, LLC 2009 OPERATING AGREEMENT with Louisiana
3.4. Water Rights; Chicot Aquifer Withdrawal Restriction. Further without limiting the foregoing, and subject to obtaining any approvals required under Applicable Law, Jefferson Island shall have the right to drill for and extract water as may be necessary, incidental, or desirable for the Permitted Purposes, including, without limitation,
Water-level declined in the Chicot aquifer system during the period 1995-2005, based on data from the USGS/DOTD water-level network.
The USGS has not conducted any studies that were specially designed to assess the effects of groundwater withdrawals at Jefferson Island Storage & Hub.
How much water will the process use?
Approximately 800 millions of water is pumped out of the Chicot Aquifer daily by numerous commercial and non-commercial users. AGL Resources will use 5.18 million gallons a day, approximately 0.6 to 2 percent of its historical usage. The geo-hydraulic study by URS determined that withdrawals by AGL Resources will not adversely impact the water levels in the aquifer nor increase the odds of naturally occurring saltwater upwelling into the freshwater zone. In other words, the quality and the availability of water from the Chicot Aquifer will not be affected by JISH construction.
Eugene Owen, of Baton Rouge, Director BR Water Co., Parish Water Co., Inc., Ascension Water Co. and LAWCO, New Iberia, stated…. Increased withdrawal from the Chicot Aquifer by AGL’s (JISH) proposed well-pumping would significantly accelerate the rate of potential contaminates, arsenic. http://senate.legis.state.la.us/Environment/archives/2011/video.htm
What other environmental studies has AGL Resources conducted?
AGL Resources conducted an environmental report similar to a Federal Environmental Impact Statement. In addition, the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality has issued a Water Quality Certification as well.
AGL Resources has not conducted an Environmental Impact Statement or Seismic Studies.
One concern voiced by residents is noise. Will more caverns mean more noise?
When the gas is put into the caverns, the injection process uses machines called compressors to insert the gas into the caverns. The current compressors do make noise, but in response to concerns from residents, AGL Resources is retrofitting the compressors with baffling to muffle the noise. Technology has improved, so the compressors for the new caverns will operate more quietly.
Feb 1, 2008
Following a power outage residents said they heard deafening noises from the plant and natural gas being released.
AGL spokesman Jack Holt confirmed that some gas was released from the plant Tuesday night following the power outage, but that it was in accordance with safety procedures and posed no hazard to the area.
“The release was a result of the reduction of air pressure in our plant control systems,” Holt said. “Air pressure holds the safety valves in the normal closed position to prevent gas from releasing. When the air pressure reaches a low point, the valves move into another position, as designed, resulting in a release in gas.”
Residents are also concerned about safety.
Salt domes have been used in the United States for about 60 years to store natural gas. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, salt caverns storage is safer relative to other storage methods. There have been no incidences of fire, leaks or explosion in caverns developed solely for natural gas storage. In addition, JISH has operated without incident since the existing caverns were first developed in 1994.
First permit application submitted had 15 pages of deficiencies resulting in AGL Resources hiring a firm to write a revised permit application.
TKE Engineering, JISH’s engineering co. was also the engineer for sparsely populated area Moss Bluff, TX natural gas salt dome caverns engineer company, completed in 2002 and had 2 explosions in 2004, AGL Resources, Richard Hyde, Managing Director, was working for Duke Energy, operator, at the time.
LINK – http://youtu.be/lmh2Ydm2dW4