Hydrocarbon Storage Caverns

LPES constructs caverns in hard rock formations using conventional mining techniques to provide safe and economical subsurface storage for hydrocarbons – principally LPGs, but also for natural gas, crude oil, and refined products. Our experts have managed the design and construction of all new hard rock caverns developed in the United States since the 1980s as well as many overseas storage caverns.

  • Conventionally mined (hard rock) storage cavern facilities
  • Solution-mined (salt) storage caverns facilities
  • Compressed air energy storage (CAES) caverns
  • Drilling construction and project management

Hard Rock Caverns

Done right, underground hard rock caverns are a cost-effective way to safely store hydrocarbons such as LPGs, as well as natural gas, refined products, and crude oil. With our team’s expertise, we use established mining techniques to construct caverns for safe storage in hard rock formations. This transformation takes a specialty few can achieve – and our team has the skills and experience. The numbers tell the story of this underused technique. Globally, there are 150 hard rock caverns, with 80 in the United States.

Salt Caverns

The LPES team has solid salt cavern storage development expertise – the in-depth kind of design, engineering, and construction experience that clients can trust when developing a salt cavern for underground storage. From design to development to operational activities, LPES team members have successfully worked on hundreds of salt caverns and brine disposal projects.



Mining was successfully completed, five months ahead of schedule, at a hard rock storage cavern in Illinois, which will be in service for 2018 butane season. The team broke ground in early 2015, drilling deep shafts.
The project consisted of the drilling of brine disposal wells and salt dome storage wells in a storage cavern terminal for a commercial client. Contract solution mining maintenance operations for leaching facilities were provided and solution mining of the final caverns was completed in 2017. The caverns serve a local, marine export terminal, the NGL pipeline grid, and fractionation plant.
Following the pressure testing of an abandoned hard rock cavern, work began on the design and construction of rail, truck, and cavern systems for butane transfers. Construction was completed and the facility entered service in the summer of 2017.