Business & Economy

Costs from Aliso Canyon gas blowout near $1 billion

This photo, which appears in a report of the Interagency Task Force 
on Natural Gas Storage Safety, shows the damage to Aliso Canyon gas well SS-25 after the massive leak was plugged.
This photo, which appears in a report of the Interagency Task Force on Natural Gas Storage Safety, shows the damage to Aliso Canyon gas well SS-25 after the massive leak was plugged.
Interagency Task Force on Natural Gas Storage Safety

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The cost of the nation's largest-ever uncontrolled natural gas release now stands at $913 million and counting, Southern California Gas Company said Tuesday in its fiscal year-end earnings report. The company owns the Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Storage Facility in the foothills above Porter Ranch at the north end of the San Fernando Valley.

About $469 million of the cost has already been covered by insurance payments, the company report said. SoCal Gas estimates it can ultimately recover up to $887 million of the costs due to Aliso from its insurance policies.

The financial toll from the company's ruptured gas well will continue to climb. The $913 million figure does not include future legal costs or damages from lawsuits. Some 373 lawsuits representing more than 45,000 plaintiffs remain to be litigated.

In an earnings call Tuesday, Debra Reed, CEO of SoCal Gas' parent company Sempra Energy, said $20 million had been set aside for a potential legal settlement. A spokesman for the company declined to say which case might be close to settling.