122015 On Site Aliso Canyon Storage Facility Natural Gas Leak; Photographer: Lance DeLaura © 2015 Southern California Gas Company. Trademarks are property of their respective owners. All rights reserved.
On Site Aliso Canyon Storage Facility Natural Gas Leak; Photographer: Lance DeLaura © 2015 Southern California Gas Company. Trademarks are property of their respective owners. All rights reserved.

Southern California Gas Co. crews took out natural gas Tuesday from the troubled Aliso Canyon storage facility for the first time in more than a year in response to what the utility called increased demand due to cold temperatures in the region.

SoCalGas officials said the gas was taken using “only those wells that have been approved for use by the Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources.” The utility also noted the withdrawal complied with a ruling by the California Public Utilities Commission, which authorized such a move to “help prevent service curtailments.”

The withdrawals began Tuesday morning, and were halted at about 11:30 a.m., according to SoCalGas.

The utility issued an advisory warning to customers earlier this week, urging people to curtail gas usage when possible to prevent a shortage during the cold snap. That advisory remains in effect, with customers urged to lower thermostats to 68 degrees or lower, delay the use of natural gas appliances and wash clothes in cold water when possible.

Gas Co. officials noted that further withdrawals of gas from Aliso Canyon might be necessary depending on weather conditions.

“SoCalGas will continue to monitor weather regionally and nationally and its potential impact on system conditions, including any need for additional withdrawals from Aliso to maintain the reliability of natural gas and electricity services,” according to the utility.

SoCalGas is hoping to resume injecting natural gas into the Aliso Canyon facility, but a final decision by state regulators on that proposal won’t be made until after a pair of public hearings are held next month.

—City News Service

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