February 1 & 2 DOGGR Hearing
On January 17, The California Department of Conservation's Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) and the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) issued two documents in compliance with the requirements of SB 380. DOGGR’s document described the outcome of the well safety review and determined the pressure limits for the Aliso Canyon gas storage facility, while the CPUC document identified the range of working gas necessary to ensure safety and reliability. DOGGR and CPUC then held a public meeting at the Woodland Hills Hilton Hotel on February 1 and 2, 2017, to present their findings and receive public comments on them. The PRNC provided written comments to both DOGGR and CPUC, and made statements at the meeting. The following links direct you to the DOGGR and CPUC documents, PRNC comments, and the PRNC statement.
DOGGR Safety Review Findings regarding Aliso Canyon Storage Facility
DOGGR Recommended Minimum and Maximum Reservoir Pressure for the Aliso Canyon Storage Facility with Attachments
CPUC Determination of Working Gas Inventory, Production Capacity, Injection Capacity, and Well Availability for Reliability
CPUC Presentation at the February 1 and 2, 2017 Hearing
PRNC Comments on DOGGR Well Safety Review & Findings
PRNC Comments on CPUC Inventory Findings
PRNC Statements at the February 1 and 2, 2017 Hearing
November 10, 2016: CPUC’s approval of proposed measures
The following two documents were posted by the CPUC. They represent CPUC’s approval of proposed measures to be taken by SoCalGas to help reduce peak gas demand during the winter season.
PUC Approval of So Cal Gas Proposed Winter Demand Response Programs
CPUC Authorization of Winter Conservation Programs
November 2, 2016: DOGGR Issues Statement on Request to Restart Injection at Aliso Canyon
DOGGR Statement on SoCal Gas Request to Resume Injection at Aliso Canyon
In a statement released by Los Angeles County Supervisor Antonovich, he introduced a motion to send a five signature letter to the Public Utilities Commission advocating for the continued prohibition of natural gas injection into the Aliso Canyon gas storage facility.
If you would like to contact any of our elected representatives, or the state regulators at DOGGR or the CPUC to share your opinion about the SoCal Gas request to resume injections at Aliso Canyon, here is a contact list that you may find helpful:
Governor Jerry Brown: (916) 445-2841
Mayor Eric Garcetti: (213) 978-0600
Councilmember Mitchell Englander: (213) 473-7012
County Supervisor Michael Antonovich: (213) 974-5555
Senator Fran Pavley: (818) 876-3352
Assemblymember Scott Wilk: (661) 286-1565
Ken Harris, DOGGR Supervisor, ken.harris [at] conservation.ca.gov, main line (916) 322-1080
Timothy Sullivan, CPUC Executive Director timothy.sullivan [at] cpuc.ca.gov 415-703-3808
Edward Randolph, CPUC Energy Division Director edward.randolph [at] cpuc.ca.gov 415-703-2083
Cliff Rechtschaffen, Senior Advisor To Gov. Brown on Climate, Energy Environment
Cliff.Rechtschaffen [at] GOV.CA.GOV 916-445-2841
October 26, 2016: Steps Required Before Gas Injection / Amount of Gas Released
This first link is to a letter from the Department of Gas and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) and the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) written to SoCalGas, instructing them of the steps they need to take before they request approval for reinjection of gas into the field, as well as other specifics.
This second link is to a report from the California Air Resources Board (CARB,) in which they make a final determination of the amount of gas released by the well failure at the Aliso Canyon facility. The final number is projected at 100,000 metric tons with a margin of error of +/- 9,000 metric tons.
October 18, 2016 Gas Storage Report Released
Federal Task Force Issues Recommendations to Increase the Safety and Reliability of U.S. Natural Gas Storage Facilities
New Report Chronicles Lessons Learned from Aliso Canyon Leak and Calls for a Phase-out of Single-Barrier Wells
WASHINGTON – October 18, 2016, the Interagency Task Force on Natural Gas Storage Safety, established in the wake of last year’s massive natural gas leak at California’s Aliso Canyon site, issued a new report intended to help reduce the risk of future such incidents. The report chronicles lessons learned from the Aliso Canyon leak and analyzes the nation’s more than 400 underground natural gas storage wells. It provides 44 recommendations to industry, federal, state, and local regulators and governments to reduce the likelihood of future leaks and minimize the impacts of any that occur.
Overall, the report finds that “while incidents at U.S. underground natural gas storage facilities are rare, the potential consequences of those incidents can be significant and require additional actions to ensure safe and reliable operation over the long term.” In particular, the report recommends that, except under limited circumstances, facility operators phase out “single point of failure” designs that contributed to the inability to swiftly control and repair the Aliso Canyon leak. The report recommends natural gas storage facility operators conduct risk assessments, develop and implement transition plans to address high-risk infrastructure, and apply robust procedures to maintain safety and reliability while the transition to modern well design standards is occurring.
The Task Force was co-chaired by Franklin Orr, Under Secretary for Science and Energy at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE); and Marie-Therese Dominguez, Administrator of the Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA).
“Natural gas plays an important role in our nation’s energy landscape, and we need to make sure the associated infrastructure is strong enough to maintain energy reliability, protect public health, and preserve our environment,” said Orr and Dominguez, who both visited the site of the Aliso Canyon leak shortly after it was controlled. “No community should have to go through something like Aliso Canyon again. Companies operating natural gas storage facilities should adopt the recommendations as quickly as possible to reduce the risk of future leaks.”
The Task Force pursued three primary areas of study: integrity of wells at natural gas storage facilities, public health and environmental effects from natural gas storage leaks, and energy reliability concerns in the case of future leaks. Three public workshops were held throughout the summer to hear from local and state level stakeholders, including gas storage operators and state regulators. These activities helped to inform the report released today.
The report’s 44 recommendations are separated across the three areas of study and are summarized in a fact sheet available here: Summary Fact Sheet of Recommendations
After providing Administration-wide support to the state response effort, in early 2016, the White House convened the Interagency Task Force on Natural Gas Storage Safety following the nation’s largest ever natural gas leak at California’s Aliso Canyon facility. This task force is consistent with the requirements codified by Congress in the Protecting our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety (PIPES) Act of 2016, signed into law by President Obama in June 2016. The legislation created a task force led by the Secretary of Energy that consists of representatives from the Department of Transportation, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Commerce, the Department of the Interior, and from state and local governments. The work of the task force builds on the recommendations outlined in the Administration’s 2015 Quadrennial Energy Review, which emphasized the urgent need to replace, expand, and modernize transmission, storage, and distribution infrastructure.
Natural gas provides heat to millions of American homes and is expected to provide one-third of our nation’s total electric power generation this year. Gas storage facilities are key components of a large and complex natural gas delivery infrastructure serving homes, offices, power plants, and industrial facilities. As noted in the report, there are approximately 400 active underground natural gas storage wells operating in 25 states of which, about 80 percent were constructed before 1980. Older wells are more likely to have “single point of failure” designs, which offer less protection against leaks compared to more modern designs.
The full 91 page report is available here: Ensuring Safe and Reliable Underground Natural Gas Storage Complete Report
PHMSA plans to issue interim regulations regarding underground natural gas storage in the coming months, incorporating API Recommended Practices 1170 and 1171. The Task Force’s report is intended to inform PHMSA’s phased rule-making process and to provide guidance to industry so that companies can begin implementing changes immediately.