About the Project
Crestwood is proposing to use existing salt caverns to store propane, a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) nearly a half mile below ground. Propane is not manufactured in New York, so it has always been imported and stored in facilities like these. In fact, caverns at Crestwood’s US Salt complex - where this project will be located - stored propane from 1964-1984, and other caverns in the same formation at the US Salt complex are being used for natural gas storage (1997-present).
The proposed caverns are close to Enterprise’s existing propane pipeline, Norfolk Southern’s existing rail line, and US Salt’s existing brine lines and salt plant, which means minimal construction will be required for the storage facility. Beyond providing an environmentally-preferred alternative to constructing a “green field” storage project, the site was selected because of sound geology of the Watkins Glen Brine Field and US Salt’s history of propane and natural gas storage operations at the site.
By connecting with the nearby Enterprise pipeline, Crestwood’s storage facility will be able to receive by pipeline propane volumes for storage during the summer months and deliver propane back into the pipeline during the winter months for downstream delivery. This means the propane volumes stored in Crestwood’s facility can be delivered to propane dealers at Enterprise’s Harford Mills terminal and Selkirk terminal, which is the primary supply source for propane dealers serving consumers located in eastern New York.
Salt caverns are ideal for storing hydrocarbons like natural gas and propane. The caverns are impermeable, and have the structural strength of steel, meaning no fluid or gas can escape through the surrounding salt deposit. The facility uses brine injection and removal to control propane inflow and outflow from the sealed, pressurized cavern.
1. Today, the caverns are completely filled with salty brine.
2. As propane is injected, brine is forced out and stored in adjacent brine ponds or sent to the plant for salt production.
3. To remove propane, brine is re-injected to force the propane out. (Propane is lighter than brine, so the brine inside the cavern resides as a separate layer below).