Aliso Canyon

METHANE LEAK AT ALISO CANYON COULD BE STOPPED BY LATE FEB.: COMPANY HALTS PROPOSAL TO BURN OFF GAS AND ANNOUNCES PLAN TO CLOSE WELL AFTER SEALING IT

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 19, 2016 (Los Angeles) – Southern California Gas (SoCalGas) announced yesterday that its relief well drilling to stop the massive Aliso Canyon natural gas leak north of Los Angeles is “proceeding ahead of schedule and the company expects to stop the leak by late February, if not sooner.” 

The relief well drilling began December 4th and must reach a depth of 8,500 feet.  “Once the well is sealed, it will be taken out of service permanently,” a SoCalGas press release states.

In addition, the company announced it has abandoned its earlier proposal for a gas capture system to burn off leaking gas because of safety concerns expressed by its engineers. State regulators had also expressed concerns that the plan could potentially result in a fire.


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MASSIVE METHANE LEAK FORCED THOUSANDS TO EVACUATE; GAS SPREADING ACROSS SAN FERNANDO VALLEY; WELLHEAD IS AT RISK OF EXPLOSIVE BLOWOUT

Leak at So Cal Gas facility exposes nationwide problem of aging gas infrastructure at hundreds of sites

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 17, 2016 (Los Angeles)—The news sounds like the plot of a disaster thriller movie, but it’s real.  The worst environmental disaster since the BP oil spill, a methane gas leak that began Oct. 23 at a storage well in Aliso Canyon in northern Los Angeles has pumped over 85,000 metric tons of methane into the air.  According to the Environmental Defense Fund, each day of the leak spews as much climate pollutant into the air as 4.5 million to 9 million cars. 

The leak at the site operated by Southern California Gas (a Sempra Energy company that also supplies San Diego’s gas) is endangering health and safety of residents as well as contaminating the environment and pumping a powerful climate pollutant into the atmosphere.   But it may soon get a lot worse. 

A Los Angeles Times investigation reveals that efforts to plug the leak has been halted—after a backwash from those efforts caused a crater 80 feet long, 30 feet wide and 25 feet deep, leaving the wellhead itself exposed and now at risk of a catastrophic blowout. Access to control valves are cut off, documents revealed.  Should a massive explosion and fire occur with a 10-mile-long plume of methane over suburban neighobrhoods, the scenario would be horrifying.


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