Pacific Gas and Electric today released a list of 100 of its pipeline segments most at-risk for some kind of failure. The list follows a week and a half after a pipeline exploded in San Bruno — killing four people.
PG&E executives say they hope the list reassures customers that they keep close track of pipeline safety.
Each year, the utility figures out which pipelines are at the greatest risk of failure. One factor is how close a pipeline is to construction. Sometimes work crews accidentally dig into buried pipelines; that’s the main cause of natural gas explosions nationwide.
PG&E also looks at earthquake fault lines, the potential for corrosion and the structure of a pipeline segment.
Segment L-132 — the one that ruptured in San Bruno this month — didn’t make PG&E’s list of 100 last year, which raises questions about the factors the utility considers to determine which pipelines are at greatest risk.
PG&E’s 100 riskiest pipeline spots are in Northern and Central California.
The Southern California Gas Company provides most of the natural gas to the L.A. and Orange counties and the Inland Empire.
South Orange County and San Diego get natural gas from San Diego Gas and Electric.