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Investing in safety

Plant and operational safety

STORAG ETZEL invested a total of around 100 million euros in plant and operational safety in the period from 2015 to 2020 - from the south field refurbishment and the conversion of many oil caverns to object protection and water pollution control.


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South field redevelopment

In the project of redeveloping of the south fields, STORAG ETZEL is renewing the field pipeline system and distribution stations for seawater, brine and oil in several sections so that safe and environmentally friendly operation can continue to be guaranteed. 38 million euros will be spent on this alone.

In 2019, work was completed on the second phase of the south field redevelopment. Construction work on sections 3 and 4 of the Südfeld redevelopment will continue as planned in 2020. 

Oil cavern drilling integrity

About 50 million euros will be invested in the conversion of all oil caverns with a new production pipe tour and installation of a control ring room - four caverns have already been converted.

In accordance with current standards and technical regulations, STORAG ETZEL has decided on various measures for oil cavern wells in order to improve the integrity (= tight containment of the storage medium), passive safety and control of oil cavern wells.

For new wells, the state of the art is achieved according to these regulations by applying multiple barrier systems and standardized procedures for design and operation over the entire life cycle of the well.   

For existing wells, risk assessments, increased maintenance and monitoring efforts, and, if necessary, retrofit measures are provided for. In each case, the wells are to be considered on a site-specific basis, e.g., depending on the condition, type, and depth of the casing, as well as the surrounding geology.

The 24 oil cavern wells in Etzel are basically double-walled and the pipe tours are cemented on the outside, towards the rock. The Etzel cavern boreholes are regularly checked by probe measurements and inspections and can therefore be considered safe - there is no acute need for action.

As a precautionary measure, and in order to further improve the long-term integrity, all oil caverns in Etzel will be retrofitted within the next few years with an additional pipe tour to create an inner control annulus, which will be permanently monitored. In the process, STORAG ETZEL's investment in additional safety totals approximately 50 million euros. Four caverns have already been converted by 2019. Should new caverns be built in Etzel for storage caverns in the future, they will be equipped with a control ring room as standard.

Pollution control

Around half a million euros was invested in 2018 for additional protective equipment and water barriers in the North Field. Water barriers serve as a supplementary shut-off option for hydrocarbons in the event that these substances should escape from the closed plant system despite installed protective measures.

Property protection

Five million euros have been invested in recent years for extended property protection such as surveillance cameras throughout the cavern field.