SoCal Gas Taps Into Troubled Aliso Canyon Amid Conservation Warnings

Southern California Gas Co. tapped the troubled Aliso Canyon natural gas storage field Tuesday after issuing an alert about potential supply shortages because of increased consumer demand.

The Aliso Canyon gas storage facility drew scrutiny when an natural gas leak forced residents in nearby Porter Ranch from their homes. (Credit: Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times)

The Aliso Canyon gas storage facility drew scrutiny when an natural gas leak forced residents in nearby Porter Ranch from their homes. (Credit: Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times)

Hours after withdrawing gas from Aliso Canyon — a facility that has been shut down since it experienced the worst methane leak in U.S. history in fall 2015 — the utility stopped using the facility because demand declined, although warnings about shortages of natural gas remained in effect.

“Cold weather is expected in the greater Los Angeles region tonight and into tomorrow, which could impact demand for natural gas,” the company said in a statement. “Additionally, low temperatures forecasted east of California for this week could impact the availability of natural gas supply to the Southern California region.”

But some questioned the safety of pulling gas from the storage field, the first such withdrawal since January 2016, and accused Southern California Gas of manipulating the natural gas supply to make the case for reopening the storage field ahead of hearings on the matter next week.

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