World News #25 – Porter Ranch
“The escape of tons of natural gas from storage under a Los Angeles neighborhood is not likely to be fixed for at least another two months due to the specific dynamics of the leak, according to officials.
The leak at Porter Ranch, already several months old, has forced the relocation of several thousand residents who said the stench made them sick.
“I can’t work in here, I can’t breathe in here sometimes. When that wind blows off that hill, it comes down the fire place,” resident Matt Pakucko told CBS News.
More than 6,500 families have filed for help, but only 2,200 have been relocated, CBS News’ Mireya Villarreal reported.
The state agency that monitors air quality estimates nearly 70,000 pounds of methane gas is being released every hour. That’s roughly a quarter of the methane emissions in California.
An online video released last week shows footage of potentially hazardous methane gases escaping from the leak, CBS Los Angeles reported.”
– CBS News, Huge California gas leak could take months to fix.
“Southern California Gas Co.’s effort to plug its leaking natural gas well involves higher stakes than simply stopping the fumes that have sickened many residents of Porter Ranch.
The company also is trying to avoid a blowout, which state regulators said is now a significant concern after a seventh attempt to plug the well created more precarious conditions at the site.
If a blowout occurs, highly flammable gas would vent directly up through the well, known as SS25, rather than dissipating as it does now via the subsurface leak and underground channels.
State officials said a blowout would increase the amount of leaked gas, causing greater environmental damage. That natural gas also creates the risk of a massive fire if ignited by a spark. The risk of fire already is so high that cellphones and watches are banned from the site
California Department of Conservation spokesman Don Drysdale called the possibility of fire “a concern” even without a blowout. The department is the umbrella agency that oversees the oil and gas regulators responsible for well safety.”
– LA Times, Efforts to plug Porter Ranch-area gas leak worsened blowout risk, regulators say.
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