Underground Natural Gas Storage

The state of Texas and the Texas Railroad Commission have petitioned the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to review PHMSA’s interim final rule regulating underground natural gas storage facilities. As required by the Protecting our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety Act of 2016, PHMSA published an interim final rule last December establishing minimum federal safety standards for underground natural gas storage facilities, which became effective in January. Such facilities have come under increased scrutiny since the 2015 Aliso Canyon storage field leak that lasted almost four months.
Continue Reading Texas Challenges PHMSA Underground Natural Gas Storage Rule

PHMSA has issued an interim final rule (IFR) to establish – for the first time ever – minimum federal standards for underground natural gas storage facilities. The IFR imposes significant new requirements in a short timeframe for “downhole facilities,” including wells, wellbore tubing and casings at underground natural gas storage facilities.
Continue Reading Underground Natural Gas Storage Interim Final Rule Issued

The Interagency Task force on Natural Gas Storage Safety formed last April in response to the massive prolonged Aliso Canyon gas leak, recently issued its report on the safety and reliability of underground natural gas storage.
Continue Reading Underground Gas Storage Recommendations Likely to Inform Upcoming Rules

In response to the Aliso Canyon leak from an underground natural gas storage well that lasted nearly four months, federal agencies with oversight of over such facilities announced workshops to gather information and solicit input on forthcoming minimum safety regulations. There are an estimated 400 interstate and intrastate underground natural gas storage facilities that operate with more than 4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas capacity. Some interstate pipeline operators rely on underground storage to facilitate load balancing and system supply on their transmission lines, while a large portion of this capacity is leased to other industry participants. In addition to serving customers, intrastate pipeline companies use storage capacity and inventories for similar purposes. Underground natural gas storage provides for flexibility in supply to accommodate daily and seasonal demand fluctuations.
Continue Reading Agencies Continue Planning for Regulation of Underground Gas Storage

The U.S. House of Representatives convened a Hearing last week regarding reauthorization of the Pipeline Safety Act (PSA) and is now considering draft legislation.  In light of the recent methane leak in Aliso Canyon, California, House Subcommittee members echoed support for many of the provisions in the Senate reauthorization bill, S 2276, including