Aliso Canyon Storage Facility
As a result of comprehensive testing, physical changes, and the establishment of tubing flow only, SoCalGas has demonstrated that the Aliso Canyon storage facility is safe to resume operations. We are pleased to report our progress to date.
A Message from Our President and COO
While it has been almost a year since the leak was stopped at the Aliso Canyon storage facility, our staff at SoCalGas® has not stopped working on enhancing our operations, technology, and safety at the facility. Our work won’t stop here: we are committed to continuously improving what we do in consideration of the safety and wellbeing of our neighbors and customers.
Comprehensive Safety Review
As a result of comprehensive testing, physical changes, and the establishment of tubing flow only, SoCalGas® has demonstrated that Aliso Canyon storage facility is safe to resume injection operations. As part of the State’s Comprehensive Safety Review, developed by the Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) in consultation with independent technical experts from the Lawrence Berkeley, Lawrence Livermore, and Sandia National Laboratories, DOGGR and the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) will determine if SoCalGas is authorized to resume injection operations. In contrast, the Root Cause Analysis will determine the specific mode and mechanics that caused the failure in the casing at the SS-25 well site.
The ability to resume injections at Aliso Canyon is critical to the reliability of the region’s natural gas and electricity systems. There is no dependency on or need to wait for the results of the Root Cause Analysis. SoCalGas has demonstrated that the field is safe to resume injection operations.
To date, 38 storage wells at the Aliso Canyon Storage facility have passed all of the tests required under DOGGR's Comprehensive Safety Review. In compliance with the Safety Review, the remaining wells have been temporarily and mechanically sealed off from the storage reservoir.
In addition to being mechanically sealed and isolated from the pressure in the field, wells that are temporarily sealed are filled with fluid to provide a second barrier of protection. Daily observation of these temporarily sealed wells will continue and they are also being monitored in real time for pressure changes. A video explaining this process is available here.
Wells that have been temporarily and mechanically sealed will either complete the second phase of required testing or be permanently sealed and taken out of service, per regulation.
Beyond the requirements of regulations and state law, SoCalGas has made several enhancements, including replacing the inner metal tubing of every well approved by DOGGR. In total, nearly 50 miles of new steel piping has been installed. SoCalGas has invested in system upgrades that enhance the operation and safety of natural gas storage wells at Aliso Canyon. These enhancements include:
- New inner metal tubing has been installed, totaling nearly 50 miles of new steel piping.
- A physical barrier, or casing, around the new inner metal tubing provides a secondary barrier of protection against potential leaks.
- The withdrawal and injection of natural gas will now only occur through the new inner metal tubing of wells that have passed all tests and have been approved for use by DOGGR.
Monitoring and Continuous Improvement
SoCalGas has implemented a suite of advanced monitoring technologies and practices that will allow for early detection of leaks and help quickly identify anomalies, such as changes in well pressure. This will support prevention and mitigation efforts. We also recently submitted a risk management plan to DOGGR for review that includes ongoing physical assessments and monitoring of each well to enhance the safety of the facility.
In addition, a number of technology and safety enhancements and practices to improve monitoring have been introduced, including:
An infrared fence-line methane detection system with eight pairs of infrared methane monitors;
Around-the-clock pressure monitoring of all wells in a 24-hour operations center;
Daily patrols to examine every well are conducted four times each day;
Daily scanning of each well using sensitive infrared thermal imaging cameras that can detect leaks;
Enhanced training for our employees and contractors.
In addition, at DOGGR’s direction, SoCalGas will operate wells at a reduced pressure, increasing the margin of safety.
Aliso Canyon Community Advisory Council
To strengthen outreach to the Porter Ranch community, we have formed a new Aliso Canyon Community Advisory Council 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.
Aliso Canyon Air Quality Notifications
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, is now operational. Community members can register for notifications here or by calling 1-877-238-0092.
Click here to view the archive of reportable releases from the Aliso Canyon storage facility.
Community Notifications are issued when SoCalGas reports a release of materials to state agencies. Click here to view past Community Notifications from the Aliso Canyon storage facility.