California utility 'temporarily controls' leaking gas flow

By REUTERS
February 12, 2016 00:22

 
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Southern California Gas Co said on Thursday it has temporarily controlled the flow of natural gas spewing from a ruptured underground pipeline that forced the relocation of thousands of residents of a Los Angeles neighborhood.

The company, a unit of Sempra Energy, said in a statement that while this was a "positive development," more work needed to be done before the leak would be permanently sealed off. It said cement needs to be injected from a relief well into the leaking well, which is slated to occur in the coming days.

The leak stems from an underground pipeline rupture at the company's 3,600-acre (1,457-hectare) Aliso Canyon natural gas storage field. The largest such leak ever in California, at its height it accounted for a fourth of all methane emissions statewide.

Los Angeles prosecutors have filed misdemeanor criminal charges against the gas company over the leak and the first wrongful death claim was filed last Thursday.

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