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Bill to delay gas injections at Aliso Canyon stalls

31 May 2017 21:51 (+01:00 GMT)
Bill to delay gas injections at Aliso Canyon stalls

Houston, 31 May (Argus) — A bill that would prevent new natural gas injections into SoCal Gas' Aliso Canyon storage facility has stalled in the California senate after failing to receive enough votes.

In a vote put to the Senate floor yesterday, Senate Bill 57 (SB 57) fell three votes short of meeting the two-thirds majority requirement, which would have allowed the bill to move forward.

SB 57 was granted reconsideration and will likely go to a vote again later this week.

The Aliso Canyon storage facility near Los Angeles was the site of a massive gas leak discovered on 23 October 2015. The leak released nearly 5 Bcf of gas over a period of four months, until it was sealed in February 2016.

California state senator Henry Stern introduced SB 57 in August 2016, to require the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and the Department of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) to complete a root cause analysis to determine the cause of the leak, before the moratorium on gas injections at the site can be lifted.

The analysis is underway, but is not yet complete.

An earlier amendment to the bill would allow for incremental injections at the facility, but only if necessary to avoid or respond to an emergency situation.