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The oil and gas division has proposed emergency regulations for underground gas storage that would require a risk management plan and corrosion assessment of uncemented casings.
While some states now require casings to be fully lined with cement, no such regulations are in place in California.
In addition to its age, several factors put the well in jeopardy of a blowout, said Anthony Ingraffea, a Cornell University engineering professor who worked in the oil and gas industry 25 years and studied the well's records.
Brian Seligman holds a sign to protest a gas leak in the Porter Ranch area of Los Angeles before a meeting of the California Air Quality Management District in Granada Hills, California January 9, 2016.
The well was built with two outer steel casings that surround and protect an inner steel pipe, or tubing, just under three inches in diameter, designed to carry gas in and out of the storage reservoir.
However, So Cal Gas was pushing gas through the 7-inch casing surrounding that pipe, enabling it to move large volumes.