Production rates and pipeline throughput are relatively fixed, but demand for natural gas - a popular home-heating fuel - is significantly higher during the winter months. This makes delivery-side storage capacity essential to assuring a steady, reliable supply of natural gas when you need it most.
Natural gas is most often stored in depleted (empty) natural gas or oil fields. These underground formations have already proven they can securely trap and contain natural gas, so they make useful reservoirs for natural gas delivered through the interstate pipeline. Natural gas may also be stored in underground salt caverns -- geologic formations whose walls are impermeable to natural gas.
Also there are over 100 natural gas utilities that liquefy natural gas for aboveground storage. This is not an unusual practice and it offers another safe, proven natural gas storage alternative for the future. Liquefied natural gas is also proving to be an important new option for transporting natural gas from regions not served logistically or economically serviceable by pipelines.»next