John Hopper, President of Falcon Gas Storage
Mark Hand is senior editor at Public Utilities Fortnightly.
How are you transforming your depleted reservoirs in Texas and your other reservoir sites into high‑deliverability storage facilities?
If it's a field that's already been used for storage, which is the case with our two Texas facilities, we look at what we can do to the existing infrastructure, both subsurface-that is the existing wells-and the surface facilities to reconfigure them to enhance the performance. That involves going in and stimulating and re‑completing existing wells.
On the surface, adding larger surface pipe and incremental compression horsepower, which is probably the biggest of all in terms of being able to increase cycle ability. We also look at drilling new wells-typically horizontal wells-that will increase reservoir performance and also contributes to increased cycling capability and deliverability.
Would Falcon consider developing a salt‑cavern facility?
We're evaluating salt‑cavern storage. That's where I kind of cut my teeth in the business at Tejas Power Corporation. We have a point of view that salt is more expansive than what we call enhanced reservoir storage on a cost‑per‑unit‑of‑cycle‑capability basis.
Unless you have a situation where all the capacity in a given salt‑cavern facility is going to be turned 12 times, there's sort of a point at which where it's not economic vis‑à‑vis enhanced reservoir storage. If you're trying to serve a market that needs somewhere between three and six annual inventories, then salt is not going to be competitive. If you're trying to serve markets that need up to 12 cycles, then salt will be competitive.
What can we expect from your Greyhawk Gas Storage partnership with Emera?