Salt Cavern

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Government-owned engineering consultancy firm Engineers India (EIL) is studying the prospects and feasibility of developing salt cavern-based strategic oil reserves in Rajasthan.

About Salt Cavern:

  • Salt caverns are developed by the process of solution mining, which involves pumping water into geological formations with large salt deposits to dissolve the salt.
  • After the brine (water with dissolved salt) is pumped out of the formation, the space can be used to store crude oil.
  • The process is simpler, faster, and less cost-intensive than developing excavated rock caverns.
  • Salt cavern-based oil storage facilities are also naturally well-sealed, and engineered for rapid injection and extraction of oil.
  • The salt that lines the inside of these caverns has extremely low oil absorbency, which creates a natural impermeable barrier against liquid and gaseous hydrocarbons, making the caverns apt for storage.
  • Rajasthan, which has the bulk of requisite salt formations in India, is seen as the most conducive for developing salt cavern-based strategic storage facilities. 

India’s Strategic Petroleum Reserves

  • India has three existing strategic oil storage facilities — at Mangaluru and Padur in Karnataka, and Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh.
  • These are made up of excavated rock caverns.


Q1) What is Petroleum?

Petroleum, also known as crude oil, is a naturally occurring fossil fuel that is found beneath the Earth's surface. It is a complex mixture of hydrocarbons, which are organic compounds primarily made up of carbon and hydrogen atoms.

Source: Oil Reserves in salt caverns: The Potential in India