On the evening of October 27, 2021, the Safety Ombudsman email received the following question: “I am not sure if this role is still active, but if it is, can you please tell us if there is a leaking gas well at the Aliso facility right now?”
SAFETY OMBUDSMAN RESPONSE:
The Ombudsman provides this summary here but refers the reader to the full detailed report, available here.
The requestor’s question as stated is broad and applicable to the entire Aliso Canyon gas storage facility, so the Safety Ombudsman (“Ombudsman”) confirmed with the requestor that the Ombudsman role is active and asked for clarification as to whether the requestor had something more specific in mind. The requestor confirmed they were asking a general question about whether there is any well in the field that is experiencing any uncontrolled release at the time of the request.
The Ombudsman reviewed immediately available information and informed the requestor that review of available information could only allow that to the Ombudsman’s knowledge, nothing was “currently leaking”, but that the Ombudsman would seek additional information from SoCalGas. The Ombudsman prepared and sent a November 5, 2021 request to SoCalGas for specific well data, covering a one month period from October 5, 2021 to November 5, 2021, inclusive, that could be reviewed for anomalies that might indicate an issue with well integrity.
After review of the data supplied by SoCalGas in response to the Ombudsman’s request, the Ombudsman did not see evidence of an obvious, significant, or persistent issue of well integrity. However, the Ombudsman’s additional review, trend analysis, and linking of methane monitoring, wellhead pressure, and annulus pressure information resulted in the Ombudsman’s opinion that additional questions to SoCalGas were necessary. Therefore, on December 13, 2021, the Ombudsman sent a follow-up data request to SoCalGas, focused on information regarding wells for which the Ombudsman was not able to be satisfied that there were no issues of concern based solely on the information provided in response to the November 5, 2021 data request. The Ombudsman received SoCalGas’ responses dated January 26, 2022.
The Ombudsman did not observe in the data provided by SoCalGas any safety-threatening well integrity issue in the Aliso Canyon storage field during the period October 5, 2021, to November 5, 2021. SoCalGas, in their responses to the Ombudsman’s requests, stated that they did not observe any findings in the monitoring, logging, or testing data at or near surface or downhole in wells that, in accordance with their standards, would indicate any abnormality or leak.