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A New Leak Spouted Gas And Oil Into The Air Above Porter Ranch

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An overhead photo of the site of the gas leak at SoCalGas' Aliso Canyon facility near Porter Ranch (Photo by Earthworks)
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A new gas and oil leak sprung up close to the closed well where massive amounts of natural gas spewed into the air for months over Porter Ranch.

Around 8:25 a.m on Saturday, SoCalGas reported to the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services that a well owned by a private company in the Aliso Canyon gas storage field was leaking, reports the Press Enterprise. The well sprayed around 30 gallons of petroleum and an unknown amount of natural gas, before it was contained around 10:30 a.m. SoCalGas was quick to point out in a statement that, this time, the company had no affiliation with the leaking well, “This well is not owned or operated by SoCalGas.”

The well is owned by Denver-based Crimson Resource Management, whose Production Superintendent, Scott Buntmann, told CBS LA that it is, “Very common in the oil field to have minor leaks. It’s something we work very hard at avoiding, but things happen. It was a minor repair — a turn of a wrench — and it’s done,” said Scott Buntmann, Production Superintendent for the company.

Buntmann's response will likely provide little comfort to the thousands of Porter Ranch residents that were displaced from their homes due to a SoCalGas operated well that released roughly 100,000 tons of methane gas over a four month period starting last October. The natural gas well was one of 115 operated by SoCalGas at the Aliso Canyon facility.

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Just last week Porter Ranch residents reported smelling gas again, though the source of the smell has yet to be identified and there has not yet been any indication that it is connected to Saturday's leak.

"It’s more obvious than ever that Aliso Canyon is dangerous and needs to be completely shut down immediately, regardless of the operators in that field," Jennifer Milbauer of the neighborhood group Save Porter Ranch wrote in an email to KPCC. "Whether it is SoCal Gas, Crimson or Termo, these wells are old, decaying and this will continue to happen again and again, poisoning thousands in the nearby communities."

As a result of the four-month long leak, thousands of nearby residents reported headaches, nosebleeds and other symptoms.