Cali Crisis Being Used to Promote Ban on NatGas Storage

MDN hasn’t, until now, covered the ongoing disaster near Los Angeles where a well used to store natural gas is leaking and out of control. The well is one of 115 such wells in the Santa Susana Mountains where Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas), a division of Sempra Energy, stores natural gas in a vacant oil field about a mile and a half underground. It is the largest such underground gas storage field in the Western U.S. One of the wells began to leak back in October, and SoCalGas says it may take them until March to fix the leak. A University of California at Davis researcher claims his calculations, taken from a specially fitted airplane, show the well is leaking around 1,000 tons of methane per day–or 80,000 tons so far. Some 4,500 residents in the nearby community of Porter Ranch have temporarily moved. Two local schools have moved their combined 1,900 students to different locations. It is a disaster by anyone’s definition. What’s newsworthy and interesting to MDN about this disaster–and how it may affect us in the Marcellus/Utica region–is how the disaster is being used/manipulated/abused in an attempt by anti-drillers to try and ban underground storage of natural gas…everywhere. Let’s keep this in perspective. There are hundreds (thousands?) of such underground storage facilities. A problem at one facility is being used as an argument that every other such facility across the country should be banned. It’s more than silly–it’s insane…

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