Dawn Storage - 75 Years of Growth and Innovation
It's an anniversary worth celebrating.
Dr. Charles S. Evans
Learn about his impact on the natural gas industry on how he ushered in a new era of oil and gas exploration and development in southwestern Ontario.
Seventy-five years ago, Union Gas pioneered the use of underground storage for natural gas in Ontario - a critical but largely unheralded innovation that to this day ensures Ontarians have a reliable source of affordable energy to get through cold winters.
Before storage was developed, the province's natural gas industry was operating on borrowed time. It relied wholly on declining domestic supply, but as an affordable energy source it was in high demand. Demand quickly began to outpace supply. Shortages were first felt during the cold winter of 1918, prompting the provincial government to restrict the use of natural gas for industries in favour of residential consumers. Despite this, shortages continued into the 1920s and on severely cold winter days, residents of cities such as Sarnia, Windsor and Chatham went without natural gas to heat their homes.
It was clear that new sources of supply were needed, but the high cost of exploration and development convinced many energy companies to stop drilling and instead focus on energy conservation. Union Gas, however, was determined to find a way to ensure Ontario would get the energy it needed and by the mid-1920s the company had increased its exploration and discovery efforts.
Dawn Storage: Naturally Occurring Underground Reservoirs
Dawn Storage is a naturally occurring underground storage facility 500-700 metres underground. Sponge-like porous rock holds natural gas for cold days when Ontario needs it most. View a cross-section of one of Dawn’s storage pools.
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The Birth and Growth of Dawn Storage
Dawn storage opened in 1942 with a working capacity of 3.4 Bcf. 75 years later it has a total working capacity of 274 Bcf. View a timeline of that growth here.
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