There are four reasons why the depleted Wild Goose natural gas field makes a good location for storage:
- The geological characteristics of the depleted field make it very attractive to develop and operate.
- The storage reservoir is very compact so it was possible to drill all of the wells from one small pad, resulting in minimal surface disturbance.
- As the storage reservoir is well sealed by overlying shale zone, there is little chance of natural gas migrating away from the field.
- With a PG&E natural gas pipeline located within a few miles of the field, only a short interconnecting pipeline was required to bring natural gas to the injection wells or withdraw it and transport it to customers.
The current level of development allows for storage up to 75 Bcf, with the potential to expand beyond this capacity. The 75 Bcf accounts for about 75% of the natural gas actually produced from the field during its producing life between 1951 and the mid-1980s.
By comparison, PG&E owns and operates about 42 billion cubic feet of storage, and Southern California Gas, the major natural gas utility in southern California, owns and operates about 131 billion cubic feet of storage.
Well Drilling Site
Wells drilled into the storage field are located on a single 8 acre well pad site almost directly above the center of the depleted natural gas reservoir on the property of the Wild Goose Club, a private waterfowl hunting club. The facility utilizes fourteen storage wells, nine of which were drilled using the latest horizontal drilling technology. They have been completed under the guidelines and approval of the California Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources.
Pipeline and Compressor Station Construction
A four-and-a-half-mile pipeline connects the well pad site to an eleven-acre compressor station site where several low profile buildings have been built to house natural gas handling, compression, dehydration, metering and office facilities. The design of these buildings is consistent with the appearance of agricultural buildings in the area. Landscaping and trees surround the entire site to help it blend in with the surrounding area. The compressor station site is also the point where the WGS system ties into an existing PG&E transmission system at the Gridley and Delevan sites.
Project life expectancy
Properly operated and maintained, a natural gas storage project such as Wild Goose can have a long life. Many of the projects still in use today were built more than 30 years ago.
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