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  1. This makes me wonder why nobody has e.g. fired a flare into the leak to burn it off and eliminate the invisible poisonous plume.

    1. Porter Ranch abuts chapparrel covered hillsides, in the midst of a drought. Shooting a flare into the plume would make sense if you had an idiot manning the flare gun, and ya had a real grudge against sprawling heavily populated developmants.

  2. @E-P

    I suspect the answer would be that the resulting explosion would do nothing to stop the leak and might have some unintended consequences.

    I’m not sure why some sort of conventional flaring device has not been installed to continually flare off the natural gas. That is what the oil and gas industry normally do when the often unusable stuff insists on coming out of the ground with no place to go.

  3. Thanks for the post and the videos, Rod. The infrared video is particularly interesting when I think about it. The methane plume is dark – because the methane is absorbing IR in the band that the camera is sensitive to. Like a leather car seat in the sun, it’s warming up and trapping heat in the atmosphere. A very clear demonstration of how effective methane is at trapping heat.

    Also, the well is in a natural gas storage field, not a field that’s producing new gas. Leakage from storage facilities is just as important as leakage from wells. The EIA web site gives a weekly report on natural gas, including how much is in storage at http://www.eia.gov/naturalgas/weekly/ . Just shy of 4 billion cubic feet in storage as of December 9.

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