Emissions, Gas

Aliso Canyon to Reopen at Reduced Capacity

By Editors of Power Engineering

California officials have granted approval for the resumption of natural gas injections at Aliso Canyon, though at a greatly reduced capacity, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Officials said the action, after months of inspections and new safety protocols, will help prevent an energy shortage in the area. However, the natural gas storage facility can only operate at 28 percent of its capacity, as more than half of the existing wells have been taken out of operation.

Remaining wells now have pressure monitors and daily inspections using infrared and other leak-detecting technology.

“This facility will be held to the most rigorous monitoring, inspection and safety requirements in the nation and will store only the minimum gas necessary to supply the Los Angeles area,” said Ken Harris, head of the California Department of Conservation’s Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources.

Aliso Canyon operator Southern California Gas Co. must complete a leak survey and measure methane emissions at the site before injections can resume. The company also has a new risk management plan.

In 2015, a ruptured well spewed tens of thousands of tons of gas, which was the largest methane leak in U.S. history.