LOS ANGELES, Oct. 19, 2016
LOS ANGELES, Oct. 19, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) today provided an update on comprehensive infrastructure, technology and safety enhancements made at its Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility. The company continues to make significant progress towards completing the Comprehensive Safety Review required by California's Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR). In addition, the inner tubing of every approved well has been replaced. In total, more than 40 miles of new steel piping has been installed. Once SoCalGas has met all of the requirements of the Comprehensive Safety Review, the company will request regulatory approval to begin replenishing the supply of natural gas at the facility to support regional energy reliability.
To date, 27 storage wells at the facility have passed all of the tests required under DOGGR's Comprehensive Safety Review. The remaining wells either have been temporarily and mechanically sealed off from the storage reservoir until further testing is completed or have been permanently plugged and taken out of service, in compliance with regulations and state law.
In addition to being mechanically sealed from the pressure in the field, the wells also are filled with fluid that provides additional protection. Daily observation of these temporarily sealed wells will continue and they are also being monitored in real time for pressure changes.
In accordance with new regulations and state laws, withdrawal and injection of natural gas now will occur only through newly installed inner tubing of wells approved for use by DOGGR. Physical barriers, or casings, around the new inner tubing will provide a secondary layer of protection against potential leaks.
As noted above, SoCalGas has replaced the inner tubing of every DOGGR-approved storage well with new pipe. In total, more than 40 miles of new steel piping has been installed.
Technology and Safety Enhancements
In addition to the Comprehensive Safety Review of storage wells, SoCalGas is introducing a number of new enhancements to further promote safety at the facility, including:
- An infrared fence-line methane detection system with eight pairs of infrared methane monitors;
- Around-the-clock pressure monitoring of all wells;
- Twice daily patrols to visually examine every well;
- Daily scanning of each well using sensitive infrared thermal imaging cameras that can detect leaks; and
- An air quality notification system that provides residents the opportunity to receive prompt information via phone call, text message and/or email, in the event of a reportable release of natural gas. Community members can register for notifications via the SoCalGas website.
A video explaining these safety enhancements is available here.
Strengthening Communications with the Community
To strengthen communications with the Porter Ranch community, SoCalGas has formed a new Aliso Canyon Community Advisory Committee that consists of residents, business owners, and community leaders from various constituencies throughout the Porter Ranch area, as well as representatives from faith-based organizations, the Los Angeles Police Department, the Los Angeles Fire Department, and other stakeholders.
Well Inspection Process
The protocol for storage well inspections was established by DOGGR in consultation with the Lawrence Livermore and Berkeley National Laboratories and in compliance with state laws.
The Comprehensive Safety Review includes temperature and noise tests, ultrasonic imaging, cement bond tests, magnetic flux leakage tests, multi-arm caliper tests, and hydro-pressure tests of both the wells' casings and of the steel tubing within the wells. A video of the comprehensive inspection process is available here.
Root Cause Analysis
SoCalGas continues to work in support of the CPUC Safety and Enforcement Division's and DOGGR's ongoing investigation of the root cause of the leak at Aliso Canyon. The investigation is now expected to be completed during the first half of 2017, but the timing is under the control of the CPUC Safety Enforcement Division and DOGGR.
About Southern California Gas Co.
Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) has been delivering clean, safe and reliable natural gas to its customers for more than 145 years. It is the nation's largest natural gas distribution utility, providing service to 21.6 million consumers connected through 5.9 million meters in more than 500 communities. The company's service territory encompasses approximately 20,000 square miles throughout central and Southern California, from Visalia to the Mexican border. SoCalGas is a regulated subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), a Fortune 500 energy services holding company based in San Diego.
This press release contains statements that are not historical fact and constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements can be identified by words like "believes," "expects," "anticipates," "plans," "estimates," "projects," "forecasts," "contemplates," "intends," "assumes," "depends," "should," "could," "would," "will," "confident," "may," "potential," "possible," "proposed," "target," "pursue," "goals," "outlook," "maintain" or similar expressions, or discussions of guidance, strategies, plans, goals, opportunities, projections, initiatives, objectives or intentions. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of performance. They involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. Future results may differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements.
Forward-looking statements are necessarily based upon various assumptions involving judgments with respect to the future and other risks, including, among others: local, regional, and national economic, competitive, political, legislative, legal, and regulatory conditions, decisions, and developments; actions and the timing of actions, including general rate case decisions, new regulations, issuances of permits to construct, operate and maintain facilities and equipment and to use land, franchise agreements, and licenses for operation, by the California Public Utilities Commission, California State Legislature, U.S. Department of Energy, California Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, California Energy Commission, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, California Air Resources Board, South Coast Air Quality Management District, cities and counties, and other regulatory, governmental and environmental bodies in the United States; the timing and success of business development efforts and construction, maintenance and capital projects, including risks in obtaining, maintaining or extending permits, licenses, certificates and other authorizations on a timely basis and risks in obtaining adequate and competitive financing for such projects; the resolution of civil and criminal litigation and regulatory investigations; deviations from regulatory precedent or practice that result in a reallocation of benefits or burdens among shareholders and ratepayers and delays in regulatory agency authorization to recover costs in rates from customers; the availability of electric power and natural gas, and natural gas pipeline and storage capacity, including disruptions caused by failures in the North American transmission grid, moratoriums on the ability to withdraw natural gas from or inject natural gas into storage facilities, pipeline explosions and equipment failures; energy markets; the timing and extent of changes and volatility in commodity prices; the impact on the value of our natural gas storage assets from low natural gas prices, low volatility of natural gas prices and the inability to procure favorable long-term contracts for natural gas storage services; risks that our partners or counterparties will be unable (due to liquidity issues, bankruptcy or otherwise) or unwilling to fulfill their contractual commitments; capital markets conditions, including the availability of credit and the liquidity of our investments, and inflation and interest rates; cybersecurity threats to the energy grid, natural gas storage and pipeline infrastructure, the information and systems used to operate our businesses and the confidentiality of our proprietary information and the personal information of our customers and employees; terrorist attacks that threaten system operations and critical infrastructure; wars; weather conditions, natural disasters, catastrophic accidents, equipment failures and other events that may disrupt our operations, damage our facilities and systems, cause the release of greenhouse gases and harmful emissions, and subject us to third-party liability for property damage or personal injuries, fines and penalties, some of which may not be covered by insurance or may be disputed by insurers; the inability or determination not to enter into long-term supply and sales agreements or long-term firm capacity agreements due to insufficient market interest, unattractive pricing or other factors; and other uncertainties, all of which are difficult to predict and many of which are beyond our control.
These risks and uncertainties are further discussed in the reports that the company has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These reports are available through the EDGAR system free of charge on the SEC's website, www.sec.gov. Investors should not rely unduly on any forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date hereof, and the company undertakes no obligation to update or revise these forecasts or projections or other forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
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SOURCE Southern California Gas Company