November 5, 2008

The Gas Company Offers Tips on Spotting, Responding to Natural Gas Pipeline Leaks

As natural gas usage increases in the winter, Southern California Gas Co. (The Gas Company) is stressing natural gas pipeline safety. Though rare, leaks in natural gas pipelines can be caused by third-party contractors, hidden corrosion or natural disasters, and are highly flammable.

The Gas Company offers these safety tips:

 --  Most natural gas pipelines are buried underground, but only major     pipeline routes are marked above ground with high-visibility markers.     These markers purposely indicate only the general - not exact - location of     major pipelines usually found where a pipeline would intersect a street,     highway or rail line.  However, most lower-pressure lines used to serve     residential neighborhoods and businesses are not marked, which is why it's     important to know where they're buried before digging for any reason. --  To ensure safety and to comply with California state law, call     Underground Service Alert toll-free at 8-1-1 at least two workdays before     digging to have utility lines marked at no cost.  To find out if there are     pipelines located in a specific area, visit the National Pipeline Mapping     System Web site at --  Be aware of a "rotten egg" smell - the odor additive in natural gas to     help identify leaks - or a hissing, whistling or roaring sound, as well as     dead or dying vegetation, near a pipeline.      

If a leak is suspected:

 --  Stay calm. --  Don't light a match, candle or cigarette, and don't turn any     electrical devices on or off, including light switches. --  Leave the area where the leak is suspected and call The Gas Company     immediately at (800) 427-2200 or call the local fire department.      

Additional safety information is available on The Gas Company's Web site at

Southern California Gas Co. has been delivering clean, safe and reliable natural gas to its customers for more than 140 years. It is the nation's largest natural gas distribution utility, providing safe and reliable energy to 20.3 million consumers through 5.7 million meters in more than 500 communities. The company's service territory encompasses approximately 20,000 square miles in diverse terrain throughout central and Southern California, from Visalia to the Mexican border. The Gas Company is a regulated subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE). Sempra Energy, based in San Diego, is a Fortune 500 energy services holding company.

 Contact: Sabra Moallem The Gas Company (877) 866-2066

SOURCE: Southern California Gas Company