California gas leak continues despite ongoing efforts
LOS ANGELES, December 29, 2015 – A video released online Monday by American non-profit Environmental Defense Fund showed the magnitude of the natural gas leak the Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) has been trying to stop for more than two months.
The methane leak, which started on October 23, was caused by a rupture in an Aliso Canyon well near Los Angeles. The company had been pumping the gas for storage when the incident occurred.
SoCalGas relocated residents in the Porter Ranch community adjacent to the leak site to hotels, as the methane was treated with chemicals to reduce flammability, which gave it a foul smell that causes headaches, nausea and nosebleeds.
The leak most likely began when an underground casing failed, allowing pressurised gas to move through the cracks, according to the Washington Post. SoCalGas, which is a company of the Sempra Energy group, began drilling a relief well after attempts to plug the well failed. Plugging efforts will take two to three months, according to company officials.