Southern California Gas Co. has been asked by California’s gas and oil regulator to provide data it has collected about an uncontrolled gas leak from a massive natural gas storage site and how it is going to plug and seal the well. The emergency order was issued by the state’s gas and oil regulator after protests by concerned neighbors after the stench became sickening.
The state’s oil and gas supervisor issued the order to preempt any damage to live, health and property. The supervisor, Steve Bohlen had said on Friday that he expected the leak to be stopped as soon as last weekend.
Leaks are very rare, and there is an excess of 100 wells in the Aliso Canyon storage field. Natural gas is pumped deep into abandoned oil fields when the demand is low and is pumped out when there is increased demands, especially in the cold winter months. The leak started on October 23 in a well that is said to the largest natural gas storage site in the West.
The leaking well starts atop a 3000-foot peak high up the Santa Susana Mountains straddling between Los Angles and Ventura counties. The well is said to a mile and a half deep.
Though the gas company has ruled any imminent health threat, residents around the well have been complaining of nausea, headaches, and other problems. A foreman at the work site was taken ill on Tuesday and was taken by an ambulance to a medical facility and then released.
It is possible that natural gas could be leaking from the well. The residents could be smelling the odorous chemical that is added to the Natural Gas so that leaks can be detected. Natural Gas is odorless, and leaks are not discernable otherwise.
Meanwhile, the company had reported progress on Wednesday when it poured a mixture of Brine and crushed rock into the well. The company spokesman Javier Mendoza gave this information.