The world’s biggest underground salt-cavern storage site, in Münsterland, where oil recently started flowing into a farmer’s fields.
Germany stores reserves of oil and natural gas in huge hollow spaces rinsed out inside large underground salt deposits.
ZDF heute journal’s report showed a discreet fence sign indicating that the utility Eon has such projects. However, the 50-year-old Münsterland site appears to be under a “public corporation” [Körperschaft des öffentlichen Rechts] tasked with making sure Germany has oil and gas reserves for 90 days, which rented the underground salt cavern from a salt extraction company that’s a joint venture of the chemical companies Solvay, Vestolit and Bayer.
A geologist told ZDF there are a lot of cavern storage sites in the world now and accordingly there are a lot of cases where salt caverns have “collapsed, leaked, exploded, burned…”
Germany has 230 in use now and another 130 are planned. Most are filled with natural gas.
Two Bonn attorneys who specialize in mining law said environmental impact testing was not required for these storage caverns until 2010, and then only for caverns above a certain size.
(VELDT vight GRISSED ess zaults caw VERNE en LOG ah.)