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CORRECTED-(OFFICIAL)-PG&E California McDonald natgas storage facility back in service

(Company corrects date of return to service to Aug. 5, from Oct. 5)

Oct 12 Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) said on Wednesday it returned the McDonald Island natural gas storage facility in San Joaquin County, California, to service on Aug. 5 after shutting the field in June due to small methane leaks at some wells.

State regulators approved the storage facility's return but limited the amount of gas the utility can inject to 75 billion cubic feet, PG&E spokesman Nick Stimmel said. The field has a capacity of 82 bcf.

Stimmel said there was no impact to customers while the field was shut and the utility does not expect any impact this winter from the limited operations.

PG&E, a unit of California energy company PG&E Corp, discovered the small leaks during an inspection the state required after the massive leak discovered in October 2015 at Southern California Gas' (SoCalGas) Aliso Canyon storage facility in Los Angeles.

That leak, the state's largest ever, was not plugged until February, forcing area homeowners to relocate. Aliso Canyon remains shut as SoCalGas tests wells at the field to make sure they are safe to operate. SoCalGas is a unit of California energy company Sempra Energy.

Of the three gas storage facilities PG&E owns and operates, McDonald is the largest. It is capable of providing nearly 25 percent of Northern California's gas on days of high demand, PG&E has said. (Reporting by Scott DiSavino in New York; Editing by Matthew Lewis)

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