Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Leak
On Jan. 26, the California Public Utilities Commission issued a written request for information on detailed data of the SS25 well (the leaking well), the subsurface safety valve, design sheets, historical operations and other specifics.
On Jan. 25, the Southern California Gas Company announced that operations have entered the fifth and final phase to cap the leaking well at Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Storage Facility. According to SoCalGas, the completion date is still anticipated to be in late February. The relief well has reached a depth of 8,413 feet and is approxiamately 200 feet away from where it is intended to intercept the leaking well. Once drilling reaches the leaking well's base, crews will transition from drilling operations to pumping heavy fluids, cement and drilling mud into the target well to stop the flow of gas. Enough cement will be inserted to displace the fluids/mud and leave an intial seal of cement that will effectively cut off the leaking well.
On Jan. 22, a senior vice president at SoCalGas received that letter and responded in kind with the steps it will take to comply with the order.
On Jan. 21, the executive director of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) sent a letter to SoCalGas ordering it to take all reasonable steps to reduce the level of working gas at the Aliso Canyon Storage facility down to 15 billion cubic feet, until further notice. The California Air Resources Board conducted another fly over survey of the leaking well site on Jan. 21. Information from this flight indicates a reduction of 70 percent in the amount of leaking methane since the peak in late November.
On Jan. 15, leaders from multiple state agencies participated in a panel discussion and public comment period to discuss the latest information on the Aliso Canyon gas leak in the Los Angeles area.
Prior to the community meeting on Jan. 15, the Department of Conservation issued notice of its intent to propose the adoption of emergency regulations necessary to protect public health, safety, and the environment by ensuring the immediate implementation of protective standards for all underground gas storage projects in the state. The emergency regulations will be established under the emergency rulemaking process to ensure that regulations are in place while the permanent regulations are being finalized.
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