Monday, 14 December 2015

There is a bomb underneath you." It's the largest releases of methane in California history: A giant stream of climate-warming methane gas is blowing hundreds of feet into the air in Los Angeles County and no one can stop it!

A giant stream of potent climate-warming gas - methane - is blowing hundreds of feet into the air in Los Angeles County for the seventh week.
The release cancels out hundreds of smaller efforts over more than a decade to clamp down on escapes of the gas, a priority because in the short term, methane is a far more powerful climate-warming gas than carbon dioxide.
Pilots flying low have been told by the FAA to stay clear of the plume for fear of ignition.
More than 1,800 families have sought relocation due to the vapors.
Southern California Gas Co. officials say it will be months before it can be stopped.
The mainly methane gas is pouring out of the ground near a damaged well used to inject gas into an old sandstone oil field for storage.
"I think what we are seeing is probably one of the single largest releases of methane in California history," said Tim O'Connor, who used to inspect major facilities like refineries for the Bay Area Air Quality Management District and works for the Environmental Defense Fund.
"People I speak with who are experts in the field say this is biggest, most complex leak that they have ever seen."
Authorities estimate the rupture in the well, perhaps more than a mile deep, is sending 100,000 pounds of methane into the air per hour.
Methane traps heat more powerfully than carbon dioxide during its approximately 20-year stay in the atmosphere, giving it an outsize role in rising sea levels and disrupted weather.
The Aliso Canyon Gas Storage Field, covered with wells, is owned by Southern California Gas Co., a subsidiary of Sempra Energy, based in San Diego.
"We have never had an escape this large," said Gillian Wright, vice president for customer services for Southern California Gas.
"I have to really emphasize this is an extremely rare event.
The extent and the difficulty of resolving this leak are highly, highly unusual."
All the methods the company has tried so far to kill the well have failed.
Now experts who fought the Kuwaiti oil field fires have joined the effort.
The safety of the some 100 workers on the site is also a concern.
Wright said that is why on some days, the company cannot perform certain work.
If the wind is blowing methane over certain equipment, crews cannot start that equipment, she said.
As of the weekend, 1,800 families, ill or frightened by sulfurous gas drifting down from the site, have been relocated from Porter Ranch, paid for by the gas company.
An additional 1,433 families have asked to be moved, with some still deciding, said Melissa Bailey, a company spokeswoman.
Among those who have left are George Chang and Susan Gorman-Chang. Gorman-Chang said the first time she felt the full impact of the unfolding events was midway through her habitual five-mile run, when she felt the strong smell of gas, or to be precise, an additive intended to give an odor to the otherwise odorless gas.
With no alternative, she ran through it until she reached home.
"I was really, really dizzy the next morning." she said.
Then on Sunday, Nov. 22 before church, she said, she opened the back door to let the dog out and was sickened by gas.
Now the Changs reside in an extended stay hotel with a mini kitchen, but no oven.
Some of her fellow refugee neighbors are considering getting air filters, but she has mixed feelings. Several lawsuits have been filed.
Marquee environmental litigators are partnering in the effort.
They liken the release to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon well blowout in the Gulf of Mexico.
At a gathering Dec. 9 organized by lawyers, they struck at residents' deepest fears.
"Everyone here has suffered a huge property loss," said trial attorney R. Rex Parris.
"The secret is out.
There is a bomb underneath you."
He invited those in attendance to sign up to be represented by counsel.
He also announced he was adding co-counsel, including lawyers who represented plaintiffs in the BP case and Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who in his remarks called the California Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources a "sock puppet."
Steve Bohlen, the scientist who heads up the agency, said making sure that Southern California Gas seals the well quickly and appropriately has "consumed the attention" of his division.
"We have directed them to build a relief well.
We have directed them to prepare a second relief well," he said. But the oil and gas chief said if the state is too directive, it risks assuming liability for the consequences.
"This is Southern California Gas' problem to fix," Bohlen stressed.
Some researchers say not enough attention has been paid to to underground gas storage fields, a mainstay of the natural gas distribution system, if little known to the average gas customer.
In the western United States these storage areas often consist of older oil fields where the original production wells have been converted to injection wells for gas.
Sometimes new injection wells are drilled.
The natural gas is gathered from remote areas, in this case Texas, New Mexico, the Rocky Mountains or Canada.
Pipelines bring it to places like Aliso Canyon where it is compressed and pushed into formations until it is withdrawn when Southern Californians fire up their heaters in winter.
Aliso Canyon is the largest such facility on the West Coast, according to Wright.
Withdrawals continue as the gas escapes and in fact the company is withdrawing gas as quickly as possible to diminish the pressure that is forcing the gas to escape.
Aliso Canyon can hold 86 billion cubic feet of gas.
"It is the heart of our system in terms of supplying and managing demand," Wright said.
Officials who have focused on reducing methane emissions because of the impact on Earth's atmosphere have paid more attention to regulations on pipelines and wells and the other places from which methane escapes.
O'Connor of Environmental Defense Fund said the gas gushing from Aliso Canyon is roughly equal to that emitted by six coal-fired power plants or 7 million extra cars.
"I think we have found a regulatory gap," he said.
Officials at both the federal and state level are formulating new rules for reducing emissions of methane. Underground natural gas storage is likely to get more scrutiny

Video information
Published on Dec 10, 2015
New video shot with a highly specialized Optical Gas Imaging camera shows time-lapse image of Southern California Gas Co.'s Aliso Canyon gas leak. Video depicts an ominous cloud of methane gas flowing down from the gas well over the community of Porter Ranch. The video shows the gas cloud at 60x speed. For more information visit:

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Tim MacDaddy said...

I can't wait to see the fine the earth gets when there is too much of a release of methane....
What a crock of methane Obama, Al Gore, and the 'climate change cronies' have become.

Anonymous said...

Oh good, I pray it blows fast, and just think of all the left wing nuts that will be taken out in one fell swoop, millions of Bolsheviks along with lunatic islamics, illegal aliens and every other scum of the earth that lives there.

pipermichael said...

Somebody, please, light a match?

Clean said...

Dont forget Obama is a Muslim Commie Nazi that wants to kill you in your sleep.

Bradley Dueringer said...

Between that and Fukushima, the people's republic of cali-fornication is screwed. The whole west coast is populated with retards..... My sister's friend at dinner some months ago commented...."I think Hilary would make a good president" ....I almost choked on my food

Anonymous said...

The sulfur smell is h2s. Look it up. I doubt they're adding anything to the methane as it spews from the ground. Time to gtfo:(

Gary Walton said...

What a mess, it should be paradise

Unknown said...

Silly to blame Obama, and not blame the mega transnational corporations that have been and will be around a lot longer than the current president. Stop buying from international corporations. Play your part in ending the rape of the planet.

ouivalerie said...

Los Angeles had so many oil fields they all have also methane but this is natural gas and methane is a component of it. I don't know where they get methane piped in from, but wonder if they do that from any oil fields with methane available but it's a science I don't know, except the newspapers do have some articles about a lot of dangerous methane being under the old filled in oil drilling sites. Lot's of those sites ran dry and they build apartments on top of them. Some people speculate that the oil drilling could cause a cave in (methane related build up) one day.... so building on top of them is maybe very dangerous, after drilling it fills in with a less solid foundation. The biggest oil field is by LAX but there were lot's of them right along the beaches since the early 1900's. All the sewage in Los Angeles is piped out 7 miles and it seems there's a lot of methane out of human waste. Some people cook from their houses with human waste methane. The pollution sure killed most of the fish on the coastline as it was super thriving in the early 1900's, but what survived is gone now because of radiation from Fukushima and a couple of Santa Barbara oil spills. They don't really teach all this and the politics of it, but we find out from watching leaks and disasters and asking lot's of questions and listening to investigative journalists that ask lot's of questions. In the end, we realize there's a lot we don't know that we should have known but it was all covered up for some profit or was how they make money....that's what builders do is want to build all the time...Somewhere out there is either someone that sabotaged the leak site or someone too incompetent to be building and it was allowed.

Gary Walton said...

I keep reading that methane and not Fukushima is responsible for the fish deaths and now you mention it.....strange

Michele Lyon-Brown said...

Only scum would desire that for any other.

Michele Lyon-Brown said...

Did they teach you that the larger oil stations around Signal Hill and Long Beach as these voids were created, that they pumped sea water into them for stabilization?