Aliso Canyon Remains Closed, Raising Concerns Over Gas Supplies

By Editors of Power Engineering

Southern California Gas Co. warned California regulators they have concerns about meeting electricity demands this summer through the next winter.

The company indicated in a letter to state agencies that natural gas storage facilities in Santa Barbara, Valencia and Playa del Rey have 40 percent less inventory than usual, and the company has been unable to inject natural gas into functioning wells in Aliso Canyon, the Los Angeles Daily News reported.

“The state was lucky this past year to have experienced a mild summer and winter,” said Bret Lane, president and CEO of SoCalGas, in the letter. “For the upcoming summer and winter seasons, California cannot rely on luck, and energy reliability should not depend upon continually mild weather conditions. This is particularly true now, as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is forecasting a 60 to 70 percent chance above normal temperatures throughout California this summer.”

However, consultants hired by Los Angeles County concluded last month that mitigation efforts have worked well enough to make Aliso Canyon contributions unnecessary in the short term.

Inspections at Aliso Canyon are continuing after a 112-day leak in late 2015 and early 2016 leaked more than 100,000 metric tons of methane.