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An aging gas well, lack of any inspections since 1976, and a sloppy “quick fix” in 1979 led to the worst natural gas disaster in Porter Ranch, California. [Update: the leak was temporarily stopped this past Thursday.]
From LA Weekly contributor, Gene Maddaus:
SS-25 was cemented only from the bottom up to a depth of 6,600 feet. The rest — more than a mile of steel pipe — was left exposed to the rock formation. At the top, the 7-inch casing is surrounded by an 11¾-inch surface casing, which is cemented to the rock. But a new well also would have a layer of cement between those casings to provide greater strength and protection from corrosion.
Gas is now leaking through a hole in the 7-inch casing at 470 feet down to the bottom of the outer casing at 990 feet, and out through the rock to the surface.