LOS ANGELES, Jan. 12, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The most recent Aliso Canyon preliminary methane emissions estimates by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) were posted yesterday, showing updated rough estimates of the volume of gas leaking from the well that indicate emissions have decreased from CARB's initial preliminary estimates, SoCalGas announced today. This new posting represents an estimated 60-percent reduction in CARB emissions estimates since the Nov. 28 data, according to the latest CARB monitoring data, and an approximate 20-percent reduction in emissions estimates since the most recent Dec. 23 preliminary estimate by CARB.
CARB releases rough estimates of the volume of gas leaking from the well based on data collected during periodic flights using sensitive monitoring equipment. The flyover data provides an estimated emission rate at the time the flights are conducted, and are used to develop a rough estimate of the total methane leaked to date. As CARB also acknowledges, a more refined estimate of the actual emissions will be conducted once the leak is stopped and additional data is collected and reviewed.
Preliminary methane emissions based on CARB data collected on Jan. 8 and posted yesterday show emissions have declined to 23,400 kilograms per hour from a high estimate of 58,000 kilograms on Nov. 28, according to information posted on the CARB web site.
CARB also calculated the total estimated volume of greenhouse gas (GHG) released from the well since the leak was detected at 1.9 million metric tons in carbon-dioxide equivalent. According to CARB's report on annual GHG emissions in California, the estimated total from the Aliso leak is less than one-half of 1 percent (0.4 percent) of California's total annual GHG emissions in carbon-dioxide equivalent.
SoCalGas is reiterating its intent to mitigate the environmental impact of the actual amount of natural gas released from the leak.
Actions SoCalGas has taken to reduce emissions:
- For several weeks, in consultation with the CPUC, SoCalGas has been withdrawing natural gas from the storage field at almost double the typical rate for this time of the year by prioritizing the use of natural gas from Aliso Canyon to supply customer demand.
- As a result of SoCalGas' withdrawals, the storage field's operating capacity has gone from being approximately 90-percent full before the leak, to being at most 37-percent full, as of Jan. 10, with the additional amount that has leaked unknown at this time.
- SoCalGas has developed a gas capture system that is designed to capture emissions from the well before they are emitted into the environment. Once permitted, SoCalGas intends to operate this capture system, provided site-specific safety conditions allow. This capture system is designed to further reduce a portion of emissions from entering the atmosphere through diversion and treatment.
SoCalGas is focused on stopping the leak and reducing air quality impacts as safely and quickly as reasonably possible.
About Southern California Gas Co.
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.com (NYSE: SRE), a Fortune 500 energy services holding company based in San Diego.
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SOURCE Southern California Gas Co.