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Comprehensive Review of Geomechanics of Underground Hydrogen Storage in Depleted Reservoirs and Salt Caverns


Hydrogen is a promising energy carrier for a low-carbon future energy system, as it can be stored on a megaton scale (equivalent to TWh of energy) in subsurface reservoirs. However, safe and efficient underground hydrogen storage requires a thorough understanding of the geomechanics of the host rock under fluid pressure fluctuations. In this context, we summarize the current state of knowledge regarding geomechanics relevant to carbon dioxide and natural gas storage in salt caverns and depleted reservoirs. We further elaborate on how this knowledge can be applied to underground hydrogen storage. The primary focus lies on the mechanical response of rocks under cyclic hydrogen injection and production, fault reactivation, the impact of hydrogen on rock properties, and other associated risks and challenges. In addition, we discuss wellbore integrity from the perspective of underground hydrogen storage. The paper provides insights into the history of energy storage, laboratory scale experiments, and analytical and simulation studies at the field scale. We also emphasize the current knowledge gaps and the necessity to enhance our understanding of the geomechanical aspects of hydrogen storage. This involves developing predictive models coupled with laboratory scale and field-scale testing, along with benchmarking methodologies.

Funding source: The financial support of NWO-TTW ViDi grant (project ADMIRE 17509) is acknowledged.
Countries: Netherlands

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