Meeting Customers’ Energy Needs
SoCalGas natural gas storage operations in Santa Clarita have played a key role in meeting the region’s energy needs for 40 years. One of the our naturally occurring underground storage reservoirs, Honor Rancho provides customers safe and reliable natural gas throughout the year, especially during peak periods.
Honor Rancho has porous rock formations that were once natural reservoirs of oil and gas for millions of years. They are now used to store natural gas that is withdrawn as needed to help balance supplies with customer demand. These subterranean rock formations are sealed by impermeable shale rock more than 2,000 feet thick and more than a mile beneath the earth’s surface.
We operate numerous wells on the site, natural gas compressors, a dehydration system, pipelines and various buildings and ancillary equipment. Honor Rancho has safety controls and procedures, employing various technologies to monitor and operate the storage facility.
Facts About Honor Rancho
- Safely operated since 1976.
- Uses advanced safety controls and procedures.
- Staffed 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.
- Complies with local, state and federal regulations.
Our employees oversee the amount of natural gas going into and coming out of Honor Rancho and conduct ongoing safety checks. In addition, they regularly perform leak surveys of all wells and pipelines with an instrument capable of detecting natural gas at concentrations of one part per million.
Gas storage operations are closely monitored for compliance by multiple agencies, including the California State Division of Oil, Gas & Geothermal Resources; California Public Utilities Commission; Occupational Safety and Health Administration; Los Angeles County Fire Department; and the South Coast Air Quality Management District.
We also hold annual safety meetings with first responders to enhance communications and emergency response; attendees have included City employees, the Los Angeles County Fire Department and the Sheriff’s Department, along with the local ambulance service
We occasionally vent natural gas during storage operations and maintenance work. Natural gas is lighter than air, so it safely dissipates harmlessly into the atmosphere.
During venting activities, we carefully monitor the amount of natural gas released to ensure safe operations and to comply with air quality regulations. Because natural gas is odorless and colorless, we add a pungent odorant to help detect natural gas leaks. This odorant is safe, but it may be noticeable to neighbors during venting activities. To help reduce the impact of potential odors, we control the amount and velocity of the venting natural gas by reducing pressures in pipelines and equipment. When possible we plan venting activities on weekends when the potential impact to other businesses in the area will be reduced. We notify neighbors, City departments and first responders prior to planned venting operations that may result in odors.
We strive to minimize the volume of natural gas released during these operations. Every planned release is reviewed and coordinated to reduce the amount of natural gas released to atmosphere.
Minimizing Our Footprint
We have taken a number of steps to reduce environmental impacts at Honor Rancho. These include:
- Complying with environmental regulations and requirements.
- Identifying and avoiding sensitive biological areas.
- Scheduling activities to avoid animal life-cycles.
- Reducing emissions to meet changing regulations.