Underground Hydrocarbon Storage

(UHS) Unit

Vacant, Professional Geologist
Unit Chief, UHS
Geology & Well Technology Section
1000 SW Jackson Street, Suite 420, Topeka, KS 66612-1367
(785) 296-7265
Fax:  (785) 559-4258

General Information

Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) has been stored in underground salt caverns in Kansas since 1953.  These caverns are formed by injecting fresh water into the bedded salt layers of the Hutchinson Salt Member of the Wellington Formation.  This process is commonly called “solutioning” or “washing”.  The injected water dissolves the salt and forms a cavern within the salt bed that is ultimately used for hydrocarbon storage.  The dissolved salt is returned to the surface as saturated brine and is either stored in a brine pond or disposed into a Class I disposal well.  A complete description of this process, including how hydrocarbons are transferred in and out of caverns can be found in the document titled, “Overview of the KDHE UHS Program 2013 document” at the link: http://www.kdheks.gov/uhs/download/UHS_Overview_May_2013_FINAL.pdf.

The underground storage of hydrocarbons is beneficial for both economic and public safety reasons. The storage of pressurized hydrocarbons in large underground caverns is much more economical than the surface storage of these products in high pressure above ground tanks.  Additionally, many of the public hazards associated with above ground hydrocarbon storage are eliminated with underground storage that is conducted under strictly controlled conditions.

Regulations for underground hydrocarbon storage were initially promulgated by KDHE in 1981 and were revised in 2003. Follow this link for the current regulations: http://www.kdheks.gov/uhs/download/lpg.pdf.

The Underground Hydrocarbon Storage (UHS) Unit administers the Underground Hydrocarbon Storage Program for the purpose of protecting public health, safety, property and the environment.  The primary duties of the Unit includes permitting, regulatory oversight of operations, tracking, inspection and closure of UHS facilities, wells and caverns, and the brine ponds associated with these facilities.  The UHS Unit also addresses brine spills resulting from facility operations and is responsible for the management and oversight of environmental cleanup at these facilities.

New/Current Events

Directions to KDHE and Visitor Parking


Note: Some of the files linked below require Adobe Acrobat.



Renewal Applications



UHS Reporting Requirements

Section 2:  Natural Gas (NG)

Note: Some of the files linked below require Adobe Acrobat.





Natural Gas Reporting Requirements

Section 3:  Crude Oil (CO)

Note:  Some of the files linked below require Adobe Acrobat.


Guidance Documents