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  1. Oil and Gas: State close to completing review at major gas blowout site

    A continuous pressure monitoring system waits to be installed on a gas well at the Southern California Gas Company's Aliso Canyon storage facility near the Porter Ranch neighborhood of Los Angeles, Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017. The company is trying to resume operations at the site, but must pass a battery of tests ordered by state regulators after the leak that was capped last year forced more than 8,000 families to relocate amid complaints of headaches, nausea and nose bleeds. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) LOS ANGELES (AP) — More than a year after a blowout at a natural gas facility drove thousands from their Los Angeles homes, state officials showed off repairs and improvements as they work to complete a safety review that could lead to resumed operations. A total of 34 wells owned by Southern California Gas Co. have passed a rigorous battery of tests required by the state oil and gas operators since the blowout was capped in February after spewing the largest-known release of methane in the U.S. over nearly four months. The remaining 79 wells are isolated so gas can't escape and many are undergoing repairs that could eventually return them to service. "There's no other facility in the United States that I know of that has gone through the series of tests that Aliso Canyon has gone through," Ken Harris, the state oil and gas supervisor, said Thursday. The blowout discovered in October 2015 drove more than 8,000 families from their homes as they complained about headaches, nausea and nosebleeds from the stinky release. Some residents who live by the facility located in a mountain range next to the suburban San Fernando Valley continue to complain of becoming ill since they returned home and many want to see the facility permanently shut down, arguing it hasn't been necessary since it ceased operations. "It has been shown that this facility is not necessary," said Alexandra Nagy, of Food and Water Watch, a group calling for the shutdown. "The facility has been shut in — no gas in or out of the facility — since January 2016. A year later, this facility hasn't been used for energy purposes." The former oil field that was converted in the 1970s to store gas a mile and a half underground is the largest natural gas facility west of the Mississippi River. The company and state agencies consider it essential for home heating and to power gas-fired electricity plants during energy spikes, though predictions of blackouts last summer never happened. The blowout happened 895 feet below ground in an oil well more than 60 years old, said Alan Walker, an engineer with the Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources. It seeped up through the ground and eventually blew a gaping hole in the ground and occasionally released an oily mist. Signs of the blowout are now gone. The hole is now capped with concrete and bright green grass is sprouting around it due to recent rain. Dumpsters nearby are filled with dirt that may have been contaminated as methane and traces of other hydrocarbons escaped. SoCalGas has had to install new pipes throughout and make repairs to bring the old wells up to stricter standards required by the state. State officials said they expect to complete their safety review and hold public meetings before deciding whether SoCalGas can begin storing gas again. They expect those steps should be completed by April. Each well now has three remote pressure monitors that could more quickly detect or prevent a leak. Before the leak, an employee would typically check the pressure at each well once a day. Employees in an operations center now scan several large screens that provide real-time information about well pressure and also a series of monitors that measure methane on the edge of the Porter Ranch neighborhood below. The monitors were installed as part of a $4 million settlement and no-contest plea SoCalGas negotiated with Los Angeles prosecutors for failing to immediately notify the state of the blowout. The leak had cost the company $763 million through the end of September, according to a financial report. Much of that was expected to be recovered from insurance. The company still faces possible, local, state and federal penalties and fines. It also is fighting more than 200 lawsuits.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Sat, 14 Jan 2017

  2. Protection sought for New Mexico park's geothermal deposits

    Underground pockets of boiling water and steam in a northern N.M. national preserve could get extra federal protection under a proposal by the National Park Service to limit or prevent any negative effects from tapping geothermal energy on neighboring land.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Wed, 4 Jan 2017

  3. DOE interested in up to 250 MW of geothermal resources in California

    Output from any projects could serve federal agencies in California, Arizona

    Online Articles

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    Wed, 31 Aug 2016

  4. NAFTA review won’t jeopardize LatAm successes, forum told

    The review and possible modification of the North American Free Trade Agreement that Donald J. Trump promised in his presidential campaign would not target US companies’ ventures in the region and in Latin America that are working well, a Trump transition team member said.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Tue, 13 Dec 2016

  1. Kenya receives $330m World Bank loan to exploit geothermal resources

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Thu, 3 Jun 2010

  2. Energy Department to invest $3mn to locate geothermal resources

    The U.S. Department of Energy will invest $3 million to spur geothermal energy development using play fairway analysis.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Fri, 31 Jan 2014

  3. EIA: U.S. has large geothermal resources , but recent growth is slower than wind or solar

    According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), geothermal is one of the main renewable energy sources used to generate U.S. electricity even though its growth has not been as strong as wind and solar over the last three years.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Mon, 21 Nov 2011

  4. CEO Gilles: Challenge in Geothermal is to 'Level Playing Field' with Wind, Solar

    The current challenge for the geothermal energy industry is what U.S. Geothermal CEO Dennis Gilles calls “leveling the playing field” with wind and solar. “We’re competing with the wind and solar companies,” Gilles said during the Geothermal Resources Council 39th Annual Meeting opening session in ...

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Wed, 23 Sep 2015

  5. ONRR to update civil penalty regulations for first time since 1999

    The US Office of Natural Resources Revenue will update its civil penalties on Aug. 1 for the first time since May 1999, the US Department of the Interior agency reported. Legislation, legal decisions, and recommendations from oversight entities drove the need to modernize and improve its civil ...

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Fri, 29 Jul 2016

  6. Agencies release SoCal winter energy reliability plan

    California state and local agencies released an action plan to keep natural gas and electrical service reliable this winter in Southern California while operations remain limited at the Aliso Canyon underground gas storage facility near Los Angeles. They also scheduled an Aug. 26 public workshop ...

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Thu, 25 Aug 2016

  7. Geothermal Assisted Power Generation for Thermal Power Plants

    As coal-fired power plants rarely exist near conventional geothermal resources , some have drawn the incorrect conclusion that GAPG is of little value or can only be applied in rare cases

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Tue, 3 Feb 2015

  8. Top 5 Reasons To Be Optimistic About Geothermal in the US

    Joe Greco, Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) board chairman and Terra-Gen Power senior vice president, outlined the top five reasons to be optimistic about geothermal in the U.S. during his opening address at the Geothermal Resources Council 39th Annual Meeting and GEA Geothermal Energy Expo on ...

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Mon, 21 Sep 2015

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