Technical Challenges for Solution Mining and Salt Cavern Storage to Meet Future Energy and Minerals Demand, and Solution Mining Research Institute's (SMRI) Role

Written by John Voigt, Gérard Durup, and Fritz Crotogino on . Posted in Volume 1 - Issue 1

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SMRI obtained blow-out data from cavern MB#1, Moss Bluff, TX for research

Salt deposits are numerous and found in most regions of the world. The best salt deposits for both salt production and cavern storage tend to be either the thickest bedded salt deposits or salt domes. Without getting into the geology, salt domes are formed as bedded salt is deeply buried and compacted by sediment. The less dense salt rises toward the surface to form massive plugs which can be several miles in diameter by 10 miles deep. Those familiar with U.S. Gulf Coast oil and gas geology know that the Gulf region has over 500 salt domes, many of which have produced oil and gas from traps on the flanks of the domes. Both bedded salt and salt domes are of quiet but great economic importance worldwide, supplying salt as basic feedstock to many chemical production facilities, winter road deicing, water treatment, and food processing.

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