A recent U.S. Energy Information Administration report found that the SoCalGas’ natural gas inventory totaled 74.4 billion cubic feet (Bcf), which is nearly identical to levels last winter, and almost 10% higher than in 2017.
SoCalGas is optimistic that it will be able to meet winter demands due to more flexibility in the company’s system. For starters, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) approved new rules making it easier for SoCalGas to withdrawal natural gas from its Aliso Canyon, the company’s largest storage facility. Following the leak at Aliso Canyon in 2015, significant limitations were placed on the storage facility. With the rule change, SoCalGas’ Aliso Canyon has working gas storage totaling 34 Bcf.
In addtion, the company has now returned line 235-2 into service. This vintage, 1957 pipeline, which runs approximately 50 miles between Victorville to east of Barstow, was initially planned to reopen in April, but was delayed when additional leaks were found. SoCalGas continues to work on Line 4000, which extends from east of Barstow to Cajon. The company plans for the line to be operational soon.
While the SoCalGas pipeline and storage systems are running at less than optimum, the company seems to be in the best position to provide customers with gas during the winter months than it’s seen in three years.