Biggest U.S. Gas Leak Followed Years of Problems, State Says

Construction engineer checking for leaks in pipeline

Sempra has already reported more than $1 billion in costs associated with the October 2015 leak.

June 10, 2019
Mark Chediak & Edvard Pettersson - Bloomberg

The worst natural gas leak in U.S. history, which broke out at a Sempra Energy storage field near Los Angeles almost four years ago, was caused by corrosion, according to a report commissioned by California regulators.

The rupture of a 7-inch (18-centimeter) well casing at Sempra Energy’s Aliso Canyon storage complex was due to “microbial corrosion” brought on by contact with groundwater, an independent analysis conducted by Blade Energy Partners and commissioned by two state agencies found.

The report also concluded there had been more than 60 leaks in the field dating back to the 1970s, and Sempra didn’t carry out detailed inspections after they occurred, the California Public Utilities Commission and Department of Conservation said in a joint statement. The company’s Southern California Gas lacked “any form of risk assessment” to manage the integrity of its wells and hadn’t established systematic practices to protect against corrosion and monitor well pressure, the agencies said.

Reprinted courtesy of Mark Chediak, Bloomberg and Edvard Pettersson, Bloomberg



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