California Faces Blackouts In Wake Of Massive Gas Leak

Southern California area could see up to 14 days of gas shortages though summer, and up to 32 by the end of the year.

The Aliso Canyon facility located near the Porter Ranch neighborhood in Southern California. (AP Photo)
The Aliso Canyon facility located near the Porter Ranch neighborhood in Southern California. (AP Photo)

Although it was sealed in February, the massive gas leak that spewed natural gas in the Los Angeles area for 16 weeks will likely continue to plague Southern California throughout the year.

The leak — at an Aliso Canyon well owned by the Southern California Gas Company — made a large enough dent in the energy supply that the area could face shortages.

The Los Angeles Times also reports that the Porter Ranch-area facility, which is responsible for supplying 17 LA-area power plants to millions of customers, won’t be back on line for months.

Aliso Canyon is down to less than one-fifth of its capacity and a moratorium on operations at the natural gas storage facility — preventing new injections of gas to increase supply — will persist until all 114 wells pass rigorous testing.

Four energy agencies — the California Energy Commission, California Public Utilities Commission, California Independent Systems Operator and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power —teamed up to analyze the effects of the Aliso Canyon leak, which released more than 100,000 tons of methane.

The Aliso Canyon facility located near the Porter Ranch neighborhood in Southern California. (AP Photo)The Aliso Canyon facility located near the Porter Ranch neighborhood in Southern California. (AP Photo)

The agencies found that, without use of any of Aliso Canyon’s remaining 15 billion cubic feet of gas, the area could see up to 14 days of scheduled blackouts due to gas shortages though summer, and up to 32 by the end of the year. That number will hopefully be reduced by the agencies’ 18 proposed mitigation measures, including the use of the facility’s remaining gas and a call for consumer energy conservation.

The California Public Utilities Commission will be keeping tabs on the cost of handling the potential shortages, and that cost will not be passed on to customers without the commission’s permission, reports the LA Times.

What other repercussions do you think are yet to be seen from the Aliso Canyon natural gas leak? Comment below or tweet @KatieeMohr.

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