Analysis of the Causes of Contraction Underground Cavities
Formed by Nuclear Explosions within the Rock Salt Massif
in the Astrakhan Condensed Gas Field

K. V. Myasnikov, V. N. Rodionov, I. A. Sizov, V. F. Dorodnov, and B. G. Lukishov

All-Russia Planning and Research Institute of Industrial Technologies (VNIPIpromtekhologii), Moscow, Russia

Institute of Dynamics of the Geospheres, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia

Received February 18, 1998

Abstract—The intense development of gas, petroleum, chemical, and petroleum refining industries has neces-
sitated the increase of reservoir farming in the country. The existing traditional methods for reservoir construc-
tion made it impossible to rapidly satisfy the increasing demand for high pressure tanks. For this reason, a
method for creating storages in rock salt massifs by means of underground nuclear explosions was elaborated
in the late 1960s. As a consequence, large farms of underground reservoirs within the rock salt massif were con-
structed in the Sovkhoznoe (the Orenburg region) gas field, as well as in the three largest condensed gas fields:
Orenburg (the Dedurovka facility), Astrakhan (the Vega facility), and Karachaganak (the Lira facility). Reser-
voir formation technology was elaborated at the Azgir salt deposit (the Galit facility) [3].

The accomplished works on the formation of underground reservoirs have provided unique scientific informa-
tion and, in most cases, the possibility to produce storage reservoirs with desired technological parameters.

At the same time, the experience gained during the formation and exploitation of reservoirs has demonstrated
that premature losses in the net volumes of reservoirs, as was the case in the Astrakhan condensed gas field, are

This work is devoted to the analysis of possible causes of this phenomenon.