The Department of Energy, supported by several national laboratories, sponsored a “Workshop on Well Integrity for Natural Gas Storage in Depleted Reservoirs and Aquifers” on July 12-13, 2016, followed by a 1-day meeting workshop hosted by PHMSA on “Underground Natural Gas Storage.” All 3 days of meetings were attended by PHMSA Administrator, Marie Therese Dominguez, and DOE Under Secretary for Science and Energy, Franklin Orr, which is a clear indication of the importance both DOE and PHMSA place on this topic. The DOE workshop included much discussion of storage well design and safety features such as tubing, packing, and subsurface safety valves. PHMSA intends to publish a rulemaking on this topic by the end of this year.
Information concerning the DOE meeting is available here. The PHMSA meeting information, including a recording of the workshop and the speaker presentations, is available on the PHMSA meetings website.
Oil and gas production well permitting and regulation are done at the state level, and several states are also actively involved in the issue of underground gas storage. The state efforts are being coordinated through the States First Initiative. State regulations may evolve in parallel with PHMSA regulations on this topic.