Energy Exchange

New whitepaper demonstrates how China can take a world class approach to underground gas storage

By Dan Mueller and Hanling Yang 


As China replaces high-polluting coal with cleaner burning natural gas to address its air quality concerns, natural gas demand in the country has undergone rapid growth. China is charting a course to aggressively increase its underground gas storage (UGS) capacity over the next two decades.

Though UGS brings benefits to the gas supply system, including operational flexibility and efficiency, it can also bring significant risk to human health, safety and the environment. Here in the United States, we’ve seen first-hand what can happen when things go wrong with UGS. Aliso Canyon in California, where a nearly 50-year old depleted reservoir gas storage facility lost containment, leaked 100,000 tonnes of methane over four months and forced the evacuation of 11,000 residents from an adjacent neighborhood.

As China draws upon leading technical and regulatory guidance addressing UGS facilities, it is critical that it develop and institute a management framework throughout all phases of UGS operation, from planning and construction through operation and, ultimately, closure.

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Also posted in Natural Gas / Comments are closed

Challenge, opportunity as China begins to tackle fossil fuel methane emissions

By Hanling Yang and Stefan Schwietzke

Even as China races to reduce heat-trapping carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and conventional air pollutants from across its growing economy, new concerns are arising over methane, an extremely potent greenhouse gas. The latest United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (UN IPCC) Special Report confirms that deep reductions in emissions of non-CO2 pollutants, particularly methane, are also essential to limiting warming to 1.5 degrees.

Among China’s top sources of methane emissions are coal, gas and oil operations, which also offer the quickest and most effective opportunities for reduction of this pollution. China has a huge opportunity to tackle methane from these sectors, but better accounting of these emissions is needed if government and industry are going to solve the problem.

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Also posted in Methane, Methane regulatons / Tagged | Read 3 Responses