First four Gasunie caverns are ready for use

24 Nov 2010

Snubbing operations completed successfully

In August we wrote that the snubbing operation for the first cavern had been completed successfully. We can now announce that since then the second, third and fourth caverns have had their brine removal pipes removed.
After leaching, the cavern is then filled with brine instead of gas. By inserting a pipe into the cavern, almost to the bottom, gas is then forced into the cavern and the brine is forced out. For each cavern – with a volume of around 600,000 m3 each – this takes approximately 90 days. After the cavern has been filled with gas the brine removal pipe still has to be removed from the cavern because otherwise the underground safety valve is unable to close. The pipe is drawn to the surface, section by section, uncoupled and then removed. This is called snubbing.
A snubbing operation only takes two days but it does require meticulous preparation and extreme concentration because there is a gas pressure in the cavern of approximately 170 bar. The firm Balance Point Control (BPC) from Emmen undertook this operation, in close collaboration with the experts of the Gasunie cavern team. As the BPC foreman said: “We’re playing at the top of our game here!” The State Supervision of Mines that was closely involved in the preparations complimented the team on their work.


On May 20, 2014 Gasunie Zuidwending changed its company name to EnergyStock. This news item was posted by EnergyStock’s predecessor Gasunie Zuidwending before the name change.