The unique Southern California weather this past winter had more of us turning to our heater to keep warm. What many may not realize is the entire journey natural gas takes to get to homes and businesses as well as power everyday activities, such as cooking, bathing and washing clothes.
Because most of the natural gas used in California - more than 90 percent - is produced out of state from basins in Texas and New Mexico, SoCalGas plans ahead to ensure our system has enough natural gas when needed.
SoCalGas owns and operates an integrated gas transmission system consisting of pipeline and storage facilities. Using our network of transmission pipelines and four interconnected storage fields, we deliver natural gas to nearly 6 million residential and business customers. The gas transmission system extends from the Colorado River on the east of SoCalGas’ approximately 20,000 square mile service territory, to the Pacific Coast on the west, and from Tulare County to the north, to the United States/Mexico border to the south supporting 21 million consumers of southern California. SoCalGas operates four storage facilities that interconnect with its gas transmission system. These storage facilities – Aliso Canyon, Honor Rancho, La Goleta, and Playa del Rey – are located near the primary load centers of the SoCalGas system.
The SoCalGas system was designed to operate using a combination of storage and pipeline supplies to meet customer demand. In fact, the SoCalGas system simply cannot function with either pipeline supply or storage supply alone. The storage facilities are a critical operating asset in the SoCalGas system. Because natural gas travels very slowly, at about 20 to 30 miles per hour, out-of-state supplies of natural gas are often not enough to meet our customers’ needs, and gas from the storage facilities is used to make up the difference. Once it enters SoCalGas’ natural gas transmission system, it travels throughout our service territory via our transmission system. Below is a closer look/description of just how our transmission system functions: