On the afternoon of January 11, 2019, there was an “uncontrolled release” of gas from a well in Marina del Rey. An oil worker was caught on film rappelling to safety from an oil structure as the fluids mixed with gas sprayed 60 feet into the air. ( Video available on this page) Patricia McPherson contacted authorities in Sacramento, leading to the emergency order to take corrective action, fix the blowout and complete a root cause analysis.
The size of the blowout indicates high underground pressures, which are probably related to the nearby Playa del Rey underground gas storage facility operated by SoCalGas. In an effort to store more gas in the storage facility, SoCalGas has been increasing the pressures above approved levels. As a result, the gas has been migrating beyond the approved 240 acre area, resulting in blowouts like the event on January 11, 2019. Gasses have been escaping continuously for years.