Aliso Canyon gas field to remain stalled another year, PUC exec says

Southern California Gas Company’s vast natural gas storage field at Aliso Canyon will likely remain inactive for at least another year, Public Utilities Commission President Michael Picker told an audience of energy officials and Porter Ranch residents Friday.

“I assume we won’t have Aliso Canyon back on-line this year,” Picker said.

His assertion is at odds with SoCal Gas’s announcement on Thursday that it expected to be able to fully test enough of its 114 gas wells to make the field operable by late summer.

Picker spoke at a public workshop on energy reliability for the Los Angeles area addressing the question of how L.A. and surrounding counties will get through the summer without power outages that could result if electrical utilities run short of the natural gas they burn.

The Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Storage Facility is the underground  reservoir where SoCal Gas stores most of the gas L.A. and Orange County homes use for home heating and cooking. Power plants also use the gas to generate electricity on days of  peak demand like during summer heat waves.

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