Gas meter indicator
Gas meter. Photo credit: Wiki Commons

The air was getting clearer by Saturday after an oily mist was emitted into the air earlier as crews worked to repair a natural gas leak at a Southern California Gas Company facility near Porter Ranch, prompting warnings to residents to stay indoors.

The leak was originally discovered Oct. 23 by crews at a natural gas storage well at the gas company’s Aliso Canyon storage facility near Northridge, according to the utility.

The gas company had said the leak did not pose a threat because it was is outdoors and over a mile away from and more than 1,200 feet higher than homes or public areas.

The well is a 7-inch steel line that runs to a naturally occurring storage reservoir, according to SoCal Gas.

“It is used to put natural gas into underground storage and does not run near any homes or public areas,” the company stated.

The mist was released Friday about 1:15 p.m. as workers pumped a heavy brine solution into a leaking pipe in a well that’s nearly 9,000 feet deep, according to company spokesman Javier Mendoza. It was stopped about 2:45 p.m., he said.

Residents were immediately notified and warned to remain indoors, the gas company reported.

The all-clear was given about 4:15 p.m., Mendoza said.

The mist never left the facility grounds and the warnings were issued out of an abundance of caution, Mendoza said.

The utility’s John Lane told Los Angeles police that the leak had been reduced and crews were making repairs that were expected to take several more days.

Results of tests on the substance were not expected before Monday or Tuesday, but it is believed to be a mixture of the brine solution, mud and residue from inside the well, Mendoza said.

Neighbors have complained about fumes and the gas company previously issued an apology “for any inconvenience, annoyance or concern” the smell of natural gas was causing to customers in the Porter Ranch area.

— City News Service

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