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California’s Gas Leak: a Cautionary Tale


The greatest environmental disaster since the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is slowly gaining media attention, but details are still coming forth. We are talking, of course, about the natural gas leak that has been threatening California residents since October. The leak stems from a well in an underground storage field owned by SoCal Gas and accounts for a full 25% of the state’s methane emissions.

The stench of mercaptan, the non-toxic odorant that assists in leak detection, is causing short-term health effects in the residential areas around the storage field, located north of Los Angeles. According to the Los Angeles Times, “More than 1,000 complaints have been lodged with South Coast Air Quality Management District, with more coming in each day.”

SoCal will take longer than BP to plug the leak

Attempts to plug the leak, namely by re-pressurizing the storage field with fluid, have been unsuccessful. An alternative attempt to drill a relief well is underway, but won’t be completed until mid-March at the earliest. According to the Fiscal Times, “Environmentalists say that the impact of the greenhouse gases released since then, when projected out over 20 years, is equal to the emissions from six coal-fired power plants or 7 million cars…”

So far, there is no word on what caused the 7” underground pipe to rupture. Until the leak is stopped and an investigation moves forward, we will likely remain in the dark about the circumstances surrounding the massive leak. In the meantime, oil and gas workers are onsite around the clock to assist in the relief well efforts. They are working in extremely dangerous conditions to help mitigate a company infrastructure problem.

Bad maintenance and cheap execs create dangerous conditions

These are the working conditions faced by our nations oil and gas workers, the unsung heroes of our infrastructure. Poor equipment maintenance and bad company policy create dangerous conditions that result in injury and death. Unfortunately, we see a lot of that here in Oklahoma, too. As a hard-working oil field employee, you deserve to have equally hard-working lawyers on your side. We’re here to protect your rights when accidents occur.

If you have been injured on the job, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, loss of income, and other damages. The experienced oil field injury attorneys at Stipe Law Firm can evaluate your case and help get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation in our McAlester office, from which we serve oil field workers throughout Oklahoma.