The Etzel salt dome
To realize the project, the massive Etzel salt dome was chosen in the 1970s after thorough investigation. The Etzel site is ideally suited for cavern construction because there is a special salt deposit underground. The thick salt layers formed around 250 million years ago and were later covered by sediments. In the area of Etzel, a mushroom-shaped structure, a so-called salt dome, has developed over this long period of time.
Ideal geographical location
The proximity to the North Sea and the Lower Saxony Bridge as well as to the NWO oil port infrastructure in Wilhelmshaven was an advantage. At the Lower Saxony Bridge, seawater is taken to flush out the caverns and brine is reintroduced into the North Sea.
The oil arrives at NWO by tanker. In total, there are three company-owned pipelines for seawater, brine and crude oil to Wilhelmshaven.
In Europe, there are few comparably favorable locations for the construction of caverns. The tenants are companies from the energy sector and associations concerned with oil storage in their home countries.