SoCalGas to Use Innovative Methane Capture System to Reduce Emissions During West Los Angeles Pipeline Replacement Project
SoCalGas is a leader in methane reducing technologies; this project will capture approximately 190,000 cubic feet of natural gas, the equivalent of what 940 homes use on an average day

Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) today announced the company will use an innovative system to capture methane during an upcoming pipeline replacement project in West Los Angeles. Instead of being released into the atmosphere, the gas emptied from the pipeline will be saved for later use, eliminating noise and emissions that occur in the traditional venting process. SoCalGas expects to capture approximately 190,000 cubic feet of natural gas, which is roughly the equivalent of what 940 homes use in a day, on average. SoCalGas successfully tested the methane capture system last September during a pipeline replacement project in the city of Atascadero.

“This methane capture system reduces emissions and helps minimize the impact of our work on the community,” said Rick Phillips, senior director of SoCalGas’ Pipeline Safety Enhancement Plan. “We are committed to investing in our system to reduce emissions and provide safe and dependable service to our customers.”

SoCalGas’ five-year capital plan includes $6 billion in infrastructure investments, including approximately $1.2 billion this year for improvements to distribution, transmission and storage systems and for pipeline safety.

SoCalGas is a leader in using and supporting the development of new technologies that reduce methane emissions. Some of these include:

• Using a special fiber optic cable that detects methane leaks and third-party damage to pipelines

• Using infrared “point” sensors that can detect leaks before they can be smelled by people

• Using infrared cameras to check for leaks after new pipelines are installed

• Using drones and other methods of aerial survey to spot emissions from above

• Employing algorithms that use our Advanced Meter system to identify unusual levels of natural   gas consumption at customers’ homes or businesses which could indicate a leak

SoCalGas also supported Senate Bill 1383, which established a 40 percent methane reduction from all sources, and supports the California Air Resource Board’s Short-Lived Climate Pollutant Plan that is currently up for adoption. 

Nationwide, emissions from natural gas distribution systems like SoCalGas’ represent less than 1 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. In California, approximately 90 percent of methane emissions come from the state’s waste streams like waste water and landfills, and dairy and agriculture operations.

The pipeline and methane capture work will take place on March 26 and 27 on Sepulveda Boulevard between Wilshire Boulevard and Ohio Avenue. To minimize the impact on the community, the work will take place between 8 pm and 6 am. Northbound lanes on Sepulveda Boulevard will be reduced to one lane and will be marked by signs and cones. 

This methane capture project is part of SoCalGas’ Pipeline Safety Enhancement Plan (PSEP), a multi-billion-dollar program that identifies various high pressure pipeline sections throughout SoCalGas’ system and schedules them to be pressure-tested and/or replaced. PSEP also includes provisions to upgrade, replace or retrofit hundreds of mainline valves in the system with technology that allows them to be opened or closed remotely by system operators from a central control location, or that automatically shuts off the flow of natural gas in the event of a large drop in pressure.

About SoCalGas

Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) has been delivering clean, safe and reliable natural gas to its customers for 150 years. It is the nation's largest natural gas distribution utility, providing service to 21.6 million consumers connected through 5.9 million meters in more than 500 communities. The company's service territory encompasses approximately 20,000 square miles throughout central and Southern California, from Visalia to the Mexican border. SoCalGas is a regulated subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), a Fortune 500 energy services holding company based in San Diego.


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