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Operating plan

Framework operating plan Etzel

Framework operating plan submitted on schedule in January 2019, approval granted in 2020 for another 50 years

  • Sinkage prognosis, impact analysis and custody concept form essential components of approval
  • Involvement of the public by the LBEG as supervisory authority

STORAG ETZEL GmbH, as the contractor responsible under mining law, is obliged to regularly submit an outline operating plan on intended projects in the operation of the Etzel cavern facility.

The new, optional general operating plan application, which maps STORAG ETZEL's operations at the Etzel site for a longer period of time for the 99 cavern sites already approved, was submitted on schedule to the State Office for Mining, Energy and Geology (LBEG) in January 2019.

Application components included the subsidence forecast from 2016 (here the framework conditions for 99 approved caverns, in German), the impact analysis from 2018 based on this and commissioned by STORAG ETZEL, and a concept for the safe storage of caverns after the end of cavern operation in the future in accordance with the current state of the art.

Public was involved

The LBEG, as the supervisory authority, involved the technical authorities, publicly responsible bodies and affected associations and institutions.

In the course of the approval procedure, the public was continuously informed by LBEG and STORAG ETZEL. 

Approval in January 2020

In January 2020, the LBEG approved the submitted optional general operating plan, as it met all legal requirements. All expert opinions and documents submitted by STORAG ETZEL were comprehensively reviewed. 

The planned technical expansion and modification measures (recompletion) on oil and gas caverns are now bindingly regulated via ancillary provisions. The approval of the general operating plan is limited to January 31, 2070 and applies to a maximum of 99 caverns.

A lawsuit filed in the meantime by the municipality of Friedeburg against the approval of the general operating plan was withdrawn at the end of 2020 after the municipality and STORAG ETZEL concluded a mutual agreement on monitoring measures for the municipal wastewater system in the subsidence area.

More information on the topic of general operating plan

Framework operating plans are to be drawn up for a specific longer period in accordance with legal requirements. The duration of the approval depends on the planned operational development.

An outline operating plan contains general information about future projects, their technical implementation and the expected time schedule.

The approval does not entitle the holder to carry out mining activities; for this purpose, further main and special operating plans must be submitted in due course.

You can find out more about subsidence forecasting here:

Impacts & compensatory measures

You can find out more about "impact analysis" here:

Impacts analysis

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