Friday, December 10, 2010

Natural gas underground storage caverns planned in

Imagine four gigantic man-made caverns, each of them the size of the Empire State Building. That's exactly what's likely to begin taking shape early next year in Millard County. Pending federal approval, Magnum Development L.L.C. plans to begin creating four enormous underground chambers to store natural gas. "I mean, it's like a scuba tank. You pop the top and gas comes out," said Tiffany James, Magnum's director of environmental services. But no scuba tank was ever so big. Magnum will use water to carve the caverns out of a mile-thick salt deposit under the West Desert. Each of the four chambers will be 1,300 to 1,400 feet high and 300 feet in diameter. The tops of the four caverns will be about 4,000 feet below the surface. "Each of these caverns will be the size, roughly, of the Empire State Building," said John Andrews, associate director of SITLA, Utah's School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration. The agency owns the land under which the caverns will be carved and stands to earn revenue Utah schools for many years by charging Magnum rental and usage fees. "So we estimate that this will generate hundreds of thousands of dollars per year for that school trust," Andrews said...more

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