The Role of Operational Factors on Water Inflow to Unlined Rock Caverns
Widely utilization of large unlined rock caverns (URCs) located in water-bearing rock formations for hydrocarbon storage calls for more stringent hydrogeological precautions. Prediction of water inflow to the unlined caverns is one of such critical components faced by designers and hydrogeologist. Successful predictions of such issues require a thorough understanding of the physical processes that govern fluid flow in rock mass. Therefore, it is becoming essential to utilize more realistic and robust predictive models based on the governing physical processes and more indicative characterization of geological formations. Application of URCs for hydrocarbon storage became commercially attractive only after the development of hydrocarbon leakage prevention, called hydraulic confinement technique, around the unlined caverns without any wall protection (Liang and Lindblom, 1994).