Oh, RT…you got a little carried away with yourself in reporting that the Porter Ranch methane leak is temporarily plugged. First of all, look at that picture. Ummm…it looks a lot like workers cleaning up after an oil spill. I have to wonder if someone over in the newsroom at RT decided that a picture was needed, and it had to have workers in it…and oh yes there needs to be some oil in it, right? Because you can’t see natural gas so you need the visual in there, so…oil. Yep, that’s the ticket. Sorry, guys, but it makes you look slightly…uninformed. And after all that we read that the leak has been temporarily capped (according to SoCal Gas) and that they are using a relief well pumping heavy fluids to temporarily control the flow of gas out of the leak. Before using cement to plug it.
My question is: if cement is used to plug it, where is all of that volume of methane supposed to go? Will other fissures appear to allow the exodus? Will pressure build up until, like some monstrous fart, the gas explosively comes out somewhere else? And what about the issue of flammability? One thing’s for sure, SoCal Gas didn’t think things through when they decided to use ancient pipes to carry the gas, and didn’t put control valves on said ancient pipes. So…how well are they thinking this plan through?