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Friday, February 12, 2016

SoCalGasCo.'s giant methane leak halted. But vast amounts of the gas are still flowing elsewhere

Southern California Gas Co. announced Thursday that it has temporarily controlled the flow of natural gas at the leaking well at its Aliso Canyon storage site located on the outskirts of Los Angeles. A spokesman said it has begun the process of sealing the well and permanently plugging the leak. That will be done by pumping concrete down the relief well that SoCalGas Co., a subsidiary of Sempra Energy, began drilling Dec. 4 to intercept the leaking well 8,600 feet deep in the porous sandstone formation used for the storage facility.
From October 23—when the leak first occurred—until Feb. 11, the well emitted what the Environmental Defense Fund estimates was 96,000 metric tons of methane. Because methane is such a potent greenhouse gas, that is the equivalent of 8 million metric tons of carbon dioxide. Or, if you want to calculate it a couple of other ways, as done by Matt Ferner and Lydia O’Connor, it’s the equivalent of the annual emissions from 1,666,737 average passenger cars or the annual energy use of 722,354 average residences. Read more...