The Gas Company sets natural gas delivery record with focus on safety

Aug 24, 2006

Media Contact:
Denise King

Southern California Gas Co.

(877) 866-2066


        LOS ANGELES, Aug. 24, 2006 -- Record electricity usage was not the only outcome of last month’s heat wave -- demand for natural gas, a primary fuel used in power generation, peaked as well.   Southern California Gas Co. (The Gas Company) delivered a record 3.72 billion cubic feet of natural gas July 24, thanks, in part, to a well-maintained pipeline system.  The gas delivery, a single-day summertime record for the past five years, is enough natural gas to serve 75,000 households for one year.

        “We take our role as a pipeline operator and natural gas supplier very seriously,” said Hal Snyder, vice president of gas transmission and distribution at The Gas Company.  “Meeting our customers’ growing energy needs is not just about reliability, but also safety.” 

        To ensure the safety of its pipeline system, employees and the public, Snyder said The Gas Company has implemented a range of programs:

        Pipeline Inspection Program:  This program uses the latest safety inspection tools to determine pipe condition and ensure that the pipelines are being maintained safely in densely populated areas.  

        Underground Service Alert:  The Gas Company is a strong advocate of, and participant in, the Underground Service Alert (USA) program to mark utilities, such as natural gas, water, cable and electrical lines, before digging.   “Dig-ins” by third-party contractors and the public continue to be the single-largest cause of damage to natural gas pipelines.  USA is an effective safety program to minimize this damage and The Gas Company strongly encourages contractors and the public to call 800-227-2600 before starting a construction project.

        24/7 Monitoring:  Gas Company experts monitor the pressure and flow on the large transmission lines 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.  Utility personnel are able to remotely redirect natural gas from one transmission line to another should it be necessary.

        Cathodic Protection:  A system designed to prevent steel pipes from deteriorating, cathodic protection has been installed on all of the transmission lines.   Whenever The Gas Company works on a line, it looks for potential problems and evaluates the pipe. 

        Leakage surveys:  The Gas Company routinely performs safety tasks, including patrolling, inspecting, testing, repairing, and replacing lines – the goal being to identify and resolve potential problems before a major problem occurs.   The Gas Company meets or exceeds all federal and state requirements for safe pipeline operations and maintenance, including ongoing technical training and testing for employees.

        “We encourage our customers to be aware of pipelines in their neighborhoods and report any suspicious activity or possible leak to us,” said Snyder.  “With their help, we can keep natural gas incidents to a minimum and focus on ensuring our customers have the natural gas they need, when they need it, at a competitive price.”
        To report a pipeline emergency, call The Gas Company at (800)427-2200.

        The Gas Company is the nation’s largest natural gas distribution utility, providing safe and reliable energy to 19.8 million consumers through 5.6 million meters.  The company’s service territory encompasses approximately 20,000 square miles in most of central and Southern California.  The Gas Company strives to provide exceptional customer service to enhance the quality of life in the community.  The Gas Company is a regulated subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE).  Sempra Energy, based in San Diego, is a Fortune 500 energy services holding company.  To learn more, go to