The Aliso Canyon underground natural gas storage field, the state’s largest, may have to be shut down, the president of the California Public Utilities Commission said. His agency has approved gas and electric power conservation efforts aimed at avoiding power outages.
A four-month leak from the 3,600-acre facility operated by Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas), which was halted in February, has resulted in problems that the state’s energy utilities will have to deal with for an extended period of time, said CPUC President Michael Picker.
The Department of the Interior has released its final rule on control of offshore oil and gas wells, aimed at preventing incidents such as the 2010 Deep Horizon blowout and mitigating any spills that do occur. The final rule amends regulations issued in April of last year.
The rule includes new design standards for blowout preventers, along with new regulations for monitoring of wells and well containment, well casing, cementing, and many other operational practices.
In a 3-2 vote, the South Coast Air Quality Management District gave ExxonMobil approval to fully restore operations at its Torrance refinery, which had been operating at about 20% capacity following an explosion there in February of last year.
Restoration of the refinery’s full output, which will only take a few days, is expected to be followed by the sale of the facility to PBF Energy (NYSE:PBF) for $537.5 million . New Jersey-based PBF announced in September that it planned to acquire the refinery when it resumes full operations. The transaction is expected to closed within a few months.
Prompted by the leak from the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility, a task force of federal, state and local officials is being formed to look into safety issues related to that Los Angeles facility and others around the country.
The Interagency Task Force on Natural Gas Storage Safety will be chaired by officials from the U.S. Department of Energy and the Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.
The California Energy Commission approved $4.3 million in grants for projects to increase the efficiency of natural gas technology used in industrial, agriculture and water processes, and more than $40 million in other energy-efficiency projects.
The City of Petaluma received a $3 million grant to design and operate an anaerobic digestion system to produce 150,000 gasoline gallon equivalents of renewable natural gas from food and beverage waste. The gas will be used to fuel refuse trucks.
Women and minorities will fill an large number of the nearly 1.9 million job opportunities forecast to be added in the oil, natural gas and petrochemical industries by 2035, according to a new report from the American Petroleum Institute.
Of the 1.9 million new job opportunities, 57% are expected to be in blue-collar occupations and 32% in management and professional fields.