Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Storage Facility
SoCalGas Letter to North San Fernando Valley Residents (July 28, 2017)
On July 28, SoCalGas sent a letter to North San Fernando Valley residents informing the community that that they will be notified prior to SoCalGas resuming injection operations. Read the letter to North San Fernando Valley residents regarding advanced notification.
SoCalGas Letter to North San Fernando Valley Residents Regarding Flyover (July 26, 2017)
As previously communicated, there are several checks and activities that must be completed before SoCalGas can resume injections at the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility (Aliso Canyon). On July 26, SoCalGas sent a letter to North San Fernando Valley residents to inform the community of a small airplane conducting flyovers at low altitudes over Aliso Canyon to survey background methane emissions. Read SoCalGas’ letter to North San Fernando Valley residents regarding flyover.
SoCalGas Letter to North San Fernando Valley Residents (July 24, 2017)
On Wednesday, July 19, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) confirmed that our Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility (Aliso Canyon) is safe to operate and approved SoCalGas® to resume limited injections to help prevent energy shortages. On, July 24, SoCalGas sent a letter to North San Fernando Valley residents to inform them about what they can expect from us as we continue our work with State regulators to safely replenish the supply of natural gas in the field. Read SoCalGas’ letter to North San Fernando Valley residents.
Process for Resuming Injection: What You Can Expect (July 24, 2017)
On July 19, 2017, state regulators confirmed the safety of the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility (Aliso Canyon) and cleared SoCalGas to resume limited injections at the field to help prevent energy shortages. There are several checks and activities that must be completed before SoCalGas can resume injections. Read the comprehensive checklist of activities.
SoCalGas Statement on California Energy Commission Letter Urging the Future Closure of Aliso Canyon (July 19, 2017)
The California Energy Commission (CEC) issued a letter urging the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to plan for the future closure of the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility. Read SoCalGas' response to the CEC letter.
SoCalGas Statement on State’s Announcement Confirming Safety of Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Storage Facility (July 19, 2017)
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) cleared SoCalGas to resume limited injections at the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility as described here. Read SoCalGas' response.
The Importance of Aliso Canyon
Aliso Canyon is the largest natural gas storage facility in California. The field serves more than 11 million customers and provides fuel to 17 natural gas-fired power plants. It is a critical part of the region’s energy infrastructure – more than 90 percent of Southern Californians depend on gas for heat and hot water, and approximately 60 percent of all the electricity generated in California is made by natural gas-fired power plants. Natural gas storage is especially important for electric generation because it supports renewable power sources, like wind and solar, and allows us to avoid burning dirty fuels, like diesel or coal, to keep the lights on. When the wind doesn’t blow or the sun doesn’t shine for renewable electric generators, the natural gas from Aliso Canyon helps to fill those energy gaps.
Aliso Canyon is centrally located in the Santa Susana Mountains, allowing for a quick and effective response to local, real-time energy demands. The location of the field is important because, unlike electricity, natural gas typically travels at relatively slow speeds in the range of 20-30 miles per hour. For example, it could take approximately ten hours for natural gas supplies to travel through SoCalGas’ transmission system from the interconnection at Blythe to several power plants located in the Los Angeles basin. By contrast, natural gas withdrawn from Aliso Canyon meet demand significantly quicker, within one to two hours. Natural gas storage allows both large and small customers to enjoy a consistent supply of natural gas to heat their homes, to cook their food, and to power their businesses, twenty-four hours, seven days a week.
Infrastructure, Technology, and Safety Enhancements
- Replacing the inner metal tubing of every well approved for injection
- Using the casing around the new inner metal tubing — tested to ensure integrity under pressure — to provide a physical and secondary barrier of protection against potential leaks
- Operating the facility at reduced pressure, as directed by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC)
- Withdrawing and injecting natural gas only through the inner metal tubing of those wells that have passed all tests and have been approved for use by the Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR)
- 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;
- Twice daily patrols to visually examine every well;
- Daily scanning of each well, using sensitive infrared thermal imaging cameras that can detect leaks;
- Enhanced training for our employees and contractors.
Well Inspection Update
- 114 (or 100 percent) of the active wells at Aliso Canyon have completed the first phase of required tests;
- 65 wells are currently in the second phase of inspections;
- 51 wells have completed all of the required tests; and
- 49 wells have received final DOGGR approval.