SoCalGas Aliso Canyon 3. (credit: SoCal Gas / Governor’s Office of Emergency Services)

On Thursday afternoon, Southern California Gas Company (SoCal Gas) announced that it had “temporarily controlled” a natural gas leak that has spewed more than 80,000 tons of gas from a well just north of Los Angeles. The leak began on October 23, and after SoCal Gas exhausted all other solutions to plug the leak, the company began drilling relief wells as a last-ditch attempt in early December.
“On Feb. 11, 2016, the relief well intercepted the base of the leaking well, and the company began pumping heavy fluids to temporarily control the flow of gas out of the leaking well,” a statement from SoCal Gas read. “DOGGR [California’s Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources] officials and representatives from other state and local agencies were at the site to observe the operation. The leak and the flow of gas will be declared ended once DOGGR has confirmed that the well has been permanently sealed.”
The company will now have to seal the well with cement to permanently shut it down, a process that could take a few more days. Once that occurs, the thousands of displaced residents who lived in the nearby Porter Ranch community will have eight days to return to their homes, at which point SoCal Gas will terminate the leases on temporary housing that the company has been paying for.
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