The state of California has come up with a plan aimed at ensuring the greater Los Angeles area, encompassing 22 million people, does not endure two weeks of electrical blackouts this summer due to a now-stopped massive natural gas leak.

Four state agencies combined to come up with an 18-point plan to reduce service disruptions in Los Angeles during the summer. The plan is needed because the Aliso Canyon natural gas well, owned by the Southern California Gas Co., leaked about 96,000 metric tons of natural gas between late October and mid-February before the well was permanently sealed.

None of the wells at Aliso Canyon can be used until a safety review is finished, which throws electrical service for Los Angeles into doubt this year. The plan requires the efficient completion of the safety review in order to get some wells back up and running.

It also involves using the 15 billion cubic feet of natural gas currently stored at the facility, increasing electrical and gas coordination, asking customers to reduce their usage, expanding programs targeted at getting low-income customers on more efficient systems, and increasing solar power spending.

"These measures will reduce, but not eliminate, the risk of gas curtailments large enough to cause electricity interruptions," the report stated. "The measures themselves are not cost-free. Some require regulatory approval; including potentially by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission."

The leak is one of the biggest environmental disasters since the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

The amount of methane spilling from the well caused more than 2,000 people to flee their homes in the Porter Ranch neighborhood of Aliso Canyon.

Environmental groups have said stronger regulations could have prevented the leak. The well was not required to have a safety valve that would have stopped the leak once it occurred, they note.

Southern California Gas Co. serves 22 million people, 11 million of which are in the Los Angeles basin. Aliso Canyon is one of the company's four major storage areas where gas brought in from other areas through pipeline is stored underground for later use.

With the Aliso Canyon site constrained at unprecedented levels during the safety review, the plan states better coordination between state and local gas and electric utilities will be needed.

The 15 billion cubic feet of gas stored at the Aliso Canyon site will be used sparingly. Not only is the gas needed to ensure the Los Angeles area gets through the summer without interruptions, but it will be needed for next winter as well.

The plan states the gas stored at the site will be used during peak demand periods to lessen the risk of an electrical blackout. The Aliso Canyon site is usually used by SoCal Gas Co. to draw natural gas to meet hourly changes in demand from customers in the Los Angeles area.

"This makes the Aliso Canyon storage facility essential to the overall reliability of both the gas and electrical systems (especially but not solely within the L.A. Basin), and uniquely critical to meet gas demand in the summer months," it said. "Summer gas demand is driven by demand for electricity and can display large and rapid swings in gas demand."

California Energy Commission, California Public Utilities Commission, California Independent System Operator, and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power came together to formulate the plan.