PG&E can't complete pipeline records order

FILE -- PG&E workers lower a gas pipeline into a box three days after a natural gas pipeline exploded into a deadly fireball in San Bruno, Calif., on Sunday, Sept. 12, 2010. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

April 25, 2011 1:43:09 PM PDT
PG&E said it may never find missing safety documents on some of its older gas pipelines. The California Public Utilities Commission requested the documents after PG&E records incorrectly described the condition of the pipe that blew in San Bruno in September.

The utility said to properly test 700 miles of pipe that it has in California it would cost between $125,000 and $500,000 per mile. PG&E said it would take five years to do it, would disrupt service and could weaken the lines because of the high pressure involved in the testing. It does plan to test about 150 miles of pipe.

PG&E said if the CPUC insists on the testing its going to reconsider its offer to pay a $3 million fine and to provide documents this coming August.