Brouard Consulting is an international consulting and engineering firm specializing in underground storage founded in 1999 by Dr. Benoit Brouard, who received his Ph.D. from Ecole Polytechnique, ParisTech, France.
Brouard Consulting is uniquely positioned to tackle real-life industrial challenges at several levels. It provides worldwide consulting services in a wide array of specialized disciplines, including salt-caverns modelling, design and analysis of tightness tests, cavern design, stability analysis and abandonment issues. Understanding the behavior of salt caverns not only requires specialized skills but it is also highly dependent on data accuracy. Brouard Consulting provides many relevant services, instruments and test techniques to address these challenges.
Simulation of the non-linear and time-dependent mechanical behavior of salt caverns requires advanced constitutive models and accurate numerical computations. LOCAS is a highly complex software suite developed continuously by Brouard Consulting for over 20+ years for the purpose of analysing salt caverns for brine-production, gas or liquid storage. Today, LOCAS is the only commercially available software capable of coupling cavern/wellbore thermodynamics and rock-salt complex geomechanics. This is of utmost importance for problems such as gas-storage management, caverns stability analysis, subsidence calculation, or cavern-abandonment.
Brouard Consulting also develops non-intrusive tools that can be deployed in the field to significantly improve underground storage monitoring.
- Sounds Well®, utilizing analysis of acoustic signals, has been developed to measure the interface depth between two fluids, remotely and accurately at the surface. For example, Sounds Well system can be used for continuous monitoring of an underground storage and early detection of leaks. Sound Well has received two French national i‐LAB, recognition awards, delivered by the French Ministry of Research and Education, for the creation of start-up companies dedicated to new technologies.
- Blockfall was specifically developed for the early detection of rock-salt block falls in salt caverns. Salt falls are relatively frequent in salt caverns and may sometime damage inner strings. In many cases, these block falls remain unobserved until they are revealed by a sonar survey or a gamma ray, performed several months or years after the incident. Blockfall system can be used for continuous monitoring of a salt cavern and allows early detection of block falls.
- WTLog® developed since 2006 in collaboration with TotalEnergies company is a ground-breaking well-testing methodology adapted from techniques used in the salt industry and successfully applied to conventional and non-conventional reservoirs. WTLog uses only wellhead pressure sensors and surface flowmeters without any downhole tools. WTLog delivers an injectivity log and a permeability log along an openhole, or a perforated casing, allowing a better identification of zones with the best potential and optimizing the production strategy. WTLog technology can be applied across a large domain of applications, including integrity testing of the overburden of an underground storage or determination of the most suitable location for a potable water underground storage in dry areas. WTLog, a patented technology under Brouard Consulting and TotalEnergies authorship, has been awarded among Ten of Best Innovations of 2019; and has recently been added to Schlumberger’s portfolio of worldwide products.
For two decades, research carried out by Brouard Consulting has been presented in more than 100 papers published in international journals and in conference proceedings organized mainly in Europe, North American and Asia. The company has also filed three international patents resulting from its research.
Role in the project
Brouard Consulting is contributing its expertise to the HyPSTER project, in particular by carrying out numerical calculations using its LOCAS software to accurately model the thermodynamic behavior of the salt caverns filled with hydrogen and to control the mechanical stability of the surrounding rock mass. Brouard Consulting will also participate in the design of integrity tests of the pilot cavern. Brouard Consulting’s contributions will be instrumental to reinforcing the industrial safety of this project.
Relevant previous projects
KEM-17 (Over-pressured salt solution mining caverns and possible leakage mechanisms)
The KEM-17 project led by Brouard Consulting was commissioned in 2018 by the State Supervision of Mines of The Netherlands. The specific goals for this project were to improve knowledge on the processes that occur in abandoned salt caverns. The project has resulted in better insight into the potential causes and their role in leakage at microscale, cavern and scales of salt caverns. Furthermore; a catalogue was produced enumerating the required measurement by operators and owners of abandoned caverns for different cavern typologies to prohibit any uncontrolled cavern leakage and thereby reducing hydrogeological risks in aquifers and geotechnical risks at the surface. The report is available here: KEM-17.
The STOPIL-H2 project was a project funded by Geodenergies France for pre-design of the pilot test for hydrogen storage to be performed later in the framework of the HyPSTER project. With LMS/Ecole Polytechnique, Brouard Consulting was in charge of the design of tightness tests and the numerical modeling of cycling tests.
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