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Montebello Gas Storage Facility Project Overview

Welcome to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) website for the Montebello Gas Storage Facility. A complete project description and other project documents are available by clicking on Project Documents.

Project Background

On April 20, 2000 the Southern California Gas (SGC) filed an application (No. 00-04-031) with the CPUC for the authority to sell its natural gas storage field in Montebello and Monterey Park. A recent Settlement Agreement on November 11, 2000 was approved by the CPUC. The settlement allows SCG to withdraw cushion gas during 2001 at the Montebello Gas Storage Facility (MGSF) in the cities of Montebello and Monterey Park.  The settlement agreement stipulates that SCG will prepare an environmental review prior to the gas extraction.

Project Location

The project location lies in Los Angeles County, California predominately on the north-central area of the City of Montebello, north of Beverly Boulevard and west of Montebello Boulevard, south of the Operating Industries Inc. landfill and the City of Monterey Park. The project involves two large areas north of Lincoln Boulevard and along the west side of Montebello Boulevard. Twenty-four individual lots that are also part of the MGSF are scattered in north-central Montebello.
The West Montebello Field was discovered in 1938 and converted to gas storage in 1956.  During the last 35 years, the areas surrounding the Main Site, East Site and the 24 individual lots have been developed to their current development pattern of single and multi-family dwellings and some commercial uses. The individual lots are scattered throughout the long established residential neighborhood of Montebello, California.
The general location and local context are shown below.

Recovery of Gas and Decommissioning

SCG has submitted its application and settlement to the CPUC to recover and sell "cushion gas" from the Storage Zone of the West Montebello Field, also known as the Montebello Gas Storage Field (MGSF). The "cushion gas" was stored more than 40 years ago and was required to maintain field pressure for normal gas storage operations of the Storage Zone, which was used for the storage of working gas by SCG as part of their normal annual operations. This storage field is no longer required, as SCG has developed other storage fields with sufficient capacity to meet current and future needs. 
SCG has stopped operating the MGSF and proposes to recover economically valuable "cushion gas" from the Storage Zone and to decommission the MGSF.  All but 2.9 billion standard cubic feet (bscf) of the working gas had been removed from the field as of January 2000. The "cushion gas" consists of 23.7 bscf of natural gas suitable for direct, immediate use by SCG and was required only for maintenance of the operating gas storage activities.  

Recovery of the cushion gas would lead to loss of storage capability in the Storage Zone beneath Montebello and effectively render the MGSF unusable for gas storage operations by SCG or any other qualified operators.  

The Settlement with the Office of Ratepayer Advocates, the Utility Reform Network, the Southern California Generation Coalition and the Southern California Edison Company, forms an agreement to recover the cushion gas as quickly as possible but did not specify the need for decommissioning of the MGSF. SCG has included decommissioning as part of the planned activities related to the gas recovery.
As a related action of the Application and Settlement for the MSGF, SCG would be required and proposes to abandon in place all wells, except those required by DOGGR for long-term monitoring, and demolish and remove all physical facilities, except for those retained for communications purposes and gas related remediation.  

Decommissioning would render the site "clean-and-clear" of any disruptive materials or structures and suitable for other appropriate highest and best land uses for the local urban setting. Any uses beyond those currently permitted by the local General Plan and zoning would require a General Plan Amendment and zone change, which would require separate applications and reviews under planning and zoning requirements by the City of Montebello and City of Monterey Park. That separate review would be accompanied by additional review under provisions of the California Environmental Quality Act.

Project Assets

The Project contains several groups of assets:
  • Cushion and working gas volumes and gas injection/withdrawal and treatment facilities
  • Mineral and Storage Rights owned by SCG in Zones A, B, and 1-8 under the cities of Montebello and Monterey Park. The area encompassed by the Rights totals approximately 0.85 sq mi (544 ac)
  • Various Operating Permits (Reclaim Trading credits are not part of the"Project)
  • Two large land areas of 29 ac (Main Facility) and 11 ac (East Site)
Individual lots within a 4,000 ft radius of the MGSF facility
All assets were used in the earlier operations of SCG's MGSF through 1999. SCG has determined that MGSF is not necessary or useful to serve the needs of its customers; these assets are deemed surplus for the needs of SCG.

Last Modified: 10/24/2007

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