The Southern California Gas Co. wants to expand its La Goleta Storage Field facility by drilling two new production wells and two exploratory wells into untapped natural gas reserves.
The facility, on South Patterson Avenue in unincorporated Santa Barbara County, has an underground storage capacity of 21.5 billion cubic feet of gas, which it uses to store natural gas during warmer months when the supplies are plentiful and then send reserves out to customers in the colder months.
According to the Santa Barbara County Planning and Development Department, the company’s proposed project would extract natural gas from known gas reserves, while the exploratory wells would tap into prospective reserves.
Once all the natural gas is depleted, the wells would be converted into storage so the facility’s capacity could increase by up to 5 billion cubic feet, the revised draft environmental impact report states.
Demand for natural gas is increasing, and the revenues from selling the extracted gas would be shared between shareholders and ratepayers, according to SoCal Gas.
County planners released a revised draft environmental impact report on Dec. 5, and is accepting public comment until Feb. 13.
A public hearing on the document is scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday in the County Planning Commission Hearing Room at 123 E. Anapamu St.
Concerns have been raised over visual impacts from the drilling rig, noise and vibration, public safety, and impacts on air and water quality.