Integrated Risk Management and Decision Support System


Underground natural gas storage (UGS) in California serves winter heating and summer cooling demands, and there is no immediate alternative to meeting California’s demand for natural gas during peak periods in winter (e.g. CCST report, 2018). Therefore it is critically  important to ensure the safety and integrity of UGS infrastructure, especially considering that many of UGS facilities use a combination of new and old wells, some of which were installed decades ago and re-purposed for UGS.

The purpose of the Integrated Risk Management and Decision-Support System (IRMDSS) is to manage risk by taking advantage of the prediction capability of mechanistic models and dynamic monitoring data from advanced monitoring technologies.

The IRMDSS addresses risks associated with the subsurface infrastructure of a UGS facility, as shown in the shaded area of Figure 1.

Figure 1. Schematic of a UGS facility with the IRMDSS domain identified by the shaded area.

The IRMDSS framework addresses not only well integrity risks, but also other integrity issues involving the subsurface caused by geo-hazards and field operations. The framework aims at helping identify potential risks, developing preventive measures, and providing  guidance for decisions on leakage (incident) mitigation measures when incidents happen.



IRMDSS has been developed at the Energy Geosciences Division (EGD) at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, in partnership with Lettis Consultants International, Inc. (LCI), Burgmann group at University of California, Berkeley, and Southern California Gas (SoCalGas) Company. The project is funded by the California Energy Commission (CEC).


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