LOS ANGELES, Dec. 10, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) announced the opening of a new community resource center for Porter Ranch residents Wednesday and said important progress has been made to stem the flow of natural gas at the Aliso Canyon Storage Field.
Work began Friday, December 4 to drill a relief well that will enable SoCalGas to pump fluids and cement through the relief well into the leaking well to stop the flow and permanently seal it.
The company has also redoubled its efforts to slow the leak and reduce odors while the relief well project is underway. These include a newly completed effort to reconnect the well to a withdrawal pipe in an effort to capture escaping gas.
The steps SoCalGas announced include:
- Opening a new Porter Ranch-based community resource center where community members can go if they have questions or concerns;
- Launching a dedicated website – www.AlisoUpdates.com – with more information for the community;
- Offering additional extended stay accommodations for families seeking to temporarily move out of the Porter Ranch area;
- Reimbursements for customers who make their own accommodation arrangements.
"I know that this situation has been frustrating and confusing for many families in the Porter Ranch community. The steps we've already taken and will continue to take moving forward will help us end this leak as quickly and safely as possible, and will allow us to better communicate with anyone who has been impacted," said Gillian Wright, vice president of customer services for SoCalGas. "We will continue working to reduce the impact on our neighbors and the environment."
The relief well drilling process is expected to take three to four months. SoCalGas has been working simultaneously on multiple fronts to reduce the flow of gas and the odor in Porter Ranch neighborhoods. The Company has been working with multiple engineering firms to explore additional steps to reduce the mercaptan smell. The Company said it will continue to keep the public informed of the progress of these efforts.
SoCalGas is also working with county health officials to continually monitor the air in the area. County officials have said that none of the components of the leaking gas are being emitted at levels that would result in long term health risks. L.A. County officials have confirmed by a directive order that both methane and mercaptan, the odorant added, are not toxic, but the odor can cause nausea and other symptoms for some people.
SoCalGas will continue to provide regular updates on the relief well progress, air quality monitoring, and community resources on the new www.AlisoUpdates.com website as well as through other distribution channels to the community. Anyone with questions or concerns about the leak can contact the company via email at email@example.com or 818-435-7707.
SoCalGas' Aliso Canyon storage facility is a naturally occurring underground reservoir which can store up to 86 billion cubic feet of natural gas within a geologic rock formation. The facility can store enough natural gas to provide for the electricity and natural gas needs of Los Angeles for six weeks or more. It helps maintain reliable and economical natural gas supplies needed to fuel electricity-generating plants, manufacturing facilities and businesses of all sizes as well as for residential uses. SoCalGas has operated it since 1972 and maintains it in accordance with safety regulations established by the Department of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR), the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and other local, state and federal agencies.
About SoCalGas: Southern California Gas Co. has been delivering clean, safe and reliable natural gas to its customers for more than 140 years. It is the nation's largest natural gas distribution utility, providing service to 21.4 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. Southern California Gas Co. is a regulated subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), a Fortune 500 energy services holding company based in San Diego.
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SOURCE Southern California Gas Co.