Improving our Natural Gas System

Our Action

PG&E is on a mission to become the safest, most reliable gas system in the nation. We know it's not enough simply to tell our customers and the communities we serve what we're going to do; we need to show them by making real and tangible progress. We’re committed to demonstrating real and lasting change. To date we have made remarkable progress toward our goal of building the safest system, but we still have much more work to do.

Our Progress

As of 09/30/2013
As part of its work to improve the safety of its gas system, PG&E has:

  • Completed seven of the safety actions recommended by the National Transportation Safety Board
  • Validated records and operating pressure for all 6,750 miles of gas transmission pipelines
  • Converted more than 3.5 million paper records going back 50 years and added them to PG&E’s new Geographic Information System so field technicians have improved access to data
  • Strength-tested or validated prior strength testing for 577 miles of transmission pipeline
  • Replaced 77 miles of pipeline
  • Retrofitted 133 miles of pipeline to accommodate in-line inspections
  • Automated 98 valves
  • In-line inspected 78 miles of transmission pipe
  • Improved leak response time to achieve first quartile nationally
  • Partnered with first responders and public safety officials to enhance emergency preparedness training programs. Highlights include: conducted two full-scale emergency scenario exercises, facilitated 411 first responder workshops, and completed 22 tabletop exercises.
  • Conducted more than 350 workshops with first responders
  • Added six new Mobile Command Center vehicles to our fleet, packed with the tools crews need to address emergencies from the field.
  • Created a mobile application that includes PG&E’s Gas Emergency Response Plan (GERP) for first responders.
  • Hired more than 1,000 new employees into all levels of the Gas Operations organization since January 2011, and expect to hire even more through 2014.
  • Created more than 131 new training courses for gas employees

Tools and Technology

Maintaining the safest and most reliable system also means driving innovation by adding smarter technologies and practices.

  • Opened a new 42,000-square-foot control center in August ,2013 that has transmission, distribution and dispatch operators working side-by-side 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This increases our visibility and control of the gas system, and our ability to operate efficiently.
  • Became the first utility to use Picarro’s car-mounted natural gas leak detection device – the world’s most advanced leak detection tool.
  • Partnered with 3P Services to develop a customized cutting-edge technology to efficiently and accurately assess the internal condition of its pipelines.
  • Collaborated with UC Davis to develop aerial leak survey technology using a fixed-wing aircraft to look for methane gas leaks around transmission pipelines.
  • Deployed new equipment to our distribution leak surveyors, including Galaxy tablets and an instrument called Detecto Pak-Infrared (DP-IR) that uses infrared technology to pinpoint gas leaks with greater accuracy.
  • Supplied 400 ruggedized laptops to gas construction crews, providing them with real-time access to detailed maps of our underground gas system.

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