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US5129759: Offshore storage facility and terminal


Filing Information

Inventor(s) William M. Bishop ·
Assignee(s) PB-KBB, Inc. ·
Attorney/Agent(s) David A. Rose ·
Primary Examiner David H. Corbin ·
Application Number US7734576
Filing date 07/23/1991
Issue date 07/14/1992
Predicted expiration date 07/23/2011
U.S. Classifications 405/59  · 405/52  ·
International Classifications B65G 1500  ·
Kind CodeA
International Classifications 40552;53;55;59;195;210 ·
17 Claims, No Drawings


The offshore facility and terminal includes a plurality of underground salt caverns located beneath the ocean floor. An offshore platform is located above the caverns and includes a flow line to a single point mooring for connection to a supertanker. A well extends from the platform into the underground salt caverns for the flow of hydrocarbons. The hydrocarbons are stored in the underground salt caverns with an immiscible displacing fluid, such as brine. The hydrocarbons and brine are immiscible and have different densities such that the brine settles at the bottom of the underground cavern. Another well extends from the underground cavern to a displacing fluid reservoir. This reservoir is a brine pond located in a depression in the ocean floor. The brine is pumped to and from the brine pond and into the underground cavern to assist in the off-loading and removal of the hydrocarbons.

Independent Claims | See all claims (17)

  1. 1. A brine pond in a subsea floor for displacing of hydrocarbons in an underground storage salt cavern, comprising:a depression in the subsea floor;a pipeline communicating between said depression and the underground storage salt cavern;brine accumulated in said depression; andmeans for flowing brine to and from the underground storage salt cavern.
  2. 8. An offshore storage facility for hydrocarbons comprising:an underground cavern located beneath the ocean floor;first means for flowing the hydrocarbons to and from said cavern;an immiscible displacing fluid having a density greater than that of the hydrocarbons;an underwater reservoir for storing said immiscible displacing fluid; andsecond means for flowing said immiscible displacing fluid between said cavern and said reservoir.
  3. 17.17. A method of unloading offshore tanker carrying crude oil, the method comprising the steps of:anchoring the tanker at a single point mooring;connecting a first flow line from the tanker to a second flow line at the single point mooring with the second flow line extending to an offshore platform;directing a portion of the hydrocarbon stream being unloaded from the tanker into a pipeline extending to shore;directing the remainder of the hydrocarbon stream being unloaded from the tanker into a second pipeline extending into an underground cavern;the inflow of the hydrocarbons into the underground cavern displacing an immiscible displacing fluid within the cavern into a third pipeline extending from the underground cavern to an underwater reservoir;accumulating the immiscible displacing fluid in the underground reservoir;subsequent to the unloading of the tanker, pumping immiscible displacing fluid from the underwater reservoir into the underground cavern;displacing the hydrocarbons in the underground cavern into the second pipeline; andflowing the displaced hydrocarbons from the underground cavern into the pipeline extending to shore.

References Cited

U.S. Patent Documents

Document NumberAssigneesInventorsIssue/Pub Date
US2590066 Pattinson Mar 1952
US2869328 TEXAS CO Gibson et al. Jan 1959
US3003322 JERSEY PROD RES CO Jordan Oct 1961
US3253414 PHILLIPS PETROLEUM CO Molique May 1966
US3277654 PHILLIPS PETROLEUM CO Shiver Oct 1966
US3438203 SHELL OIL CO Lamb et al. Jan 1971
US3438204 ATLANTIC RICHFIELD CO Cleary Apr 1969
US3552128 TEXACO INC Shook Jan 1971
US4592677 Phillips Petroleum Company Washer Jun 1986
US4626131 The Dow Chemical Company Glew et al. Dec 1986
US5017043 Geophysical Engineering Company Assaf et al. May 1991

Foreign Patent Documents

Document NumberAssigneesInventorsIssue/Pub Date
EP0157101Texas Brine CorporationOct 1985

Other Publications

"Salting Down Crude", The Oil and Gas Journal, Aug. 17, 1953, p. 84.
Oil Gas European Magazine, vol. 11 at pp. 39-45, Nov. 1977.
Salton Sea Solar Pond Project, Prepared by Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif. 1981.
Brines and Evaporites by Peter Sonnenfeld, Department of Geology and Geological Engineering University of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario, Canada 1984.
Hot Brines and the Deep Sea Environment by Ludwig Karbe, Institute of Hydrobiology and Fishery Science, Hamburg, University, Federal Republic of Germany.