The Lodi Gas Storage (LGS) project, a 22 Bcf working capacity underground storage facility in Northern California, gained approval from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) Thursday to drill up to 15 new wells from existing sites to improve the efficiency of the independent storage field.

No change in total capacity, working capacity or maximum daily injection/withdrawal capability will result for the drilling, the CPUC said.

Last year Lodi, under new ownership by a Pennsylvania-based company that paid $432 million for the facility, won CPUC approval for a second-phase expansion of the LGS project’s Kirby Hills unit. The Kirby Hills Phase II expansion provided about 12 Bcf of working gas capacity (see Daily GPI, Feb. 29, 2008).

The new wells are to be drilled from some or all of the five existing well sites and on previously disturbed land adjacent to the existing well sites, the CPUC said.

The CPUC’s energy division prepared an addendum to the project’s final environmental impact report, concluding that the proposed drilling would have “no significant environmental impact.” The staff concluded that there was no need to require mitigation measures.

Kirby Hills is about 45 miles west of the Lodi facility and now has about 22 Bcf of working gas capacity. The facilities are connected to the Pacific Gas and Electric Co. utility backbone transmission pipeline system in Northern California.

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