Wednesday, June 24, 2015

How Many HBEs(*) is that? (* Hiroshima Bomb Equivalent)

I've been looking into the strange eruption at the Indian Hills Golf Course in Lambton County, Ontario, and discovered it might be connected to the Union Gas Dawn Storage field. It's a massive facility, the largest in North America: 157 BCF.

I decided to update my Hiroshima Bomb energy equivalent calculations for various natural gas, LPG, and LNG pipelines and storage projects. It ain't pretty.

Feel free to check my math. It's a simple conversion from e.g., gas volume into Joules. The 16kt Hiroshima bomb was ~6.69E+013 Joules. Here's the spreadsheet with the calculations.

Now keep in mind a catastrophic failure of a methane pipeline or LPG storage tank is not completely like the detonation of a nuclear bomb. For example, there is no similar release of radiation. However, we might expect the thermal radiation, and/or the shockwave from an explosion (which could happen if the conditions are right) to be about the same.

Ross Horowitz from Ithaca independently calculated the "LPG storage @ Seneca Lake" and got 129! Very close to my number. A letter in the Press and Sun Bulletin 4/16/2015 by Satanta Satank of Richford verified my calculation for the methane storage at Seneca Lake . She calculated 28, which is very close to my number (32). This gives me confidence that my calculations are accurate.

Project: Capacity HBEs
Constitution Pipeline, per day:
Dominion Atlantic Coast Pipeline HBE/day:
Williams Transco Atlantic Sunrise HBE/d
Crestwood Methane storage @ Seneca Lake:
Kinder-Morgan NED Market Path HBE/d:
LNG tanker (typical):
Q-Max LNG tanker :
Crestwood LPG @ Seneca Lake:
Cove Point LNG storage:
Union Gas Dawn Storage Ontario:
Aliso Canyon: LA County CA: 
650k dth/d
1.5 BCF/d
1.7 BCF/d
2  BCF
2.2 BCF/d
2.82 BCF
5.64 BCF
88.2 M gal
14.6 BCF
156 BCF
167 BCF
NOTE: this chart does not render correctly on all portable devices.
Check Here if something doesn't look right.

More info on Units

Estimated Thermal Blast Zone of Catastrophic Event at Cove Point LNG

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