Feb 9 (Reuters) - California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC):
* says opened a proceeding at its public voting meeting on Thursday to determine feasibility of minimizing or eliminating the use of Southern California Gas Company's Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility while still maintaining energy and electric reliability for the Los Angeles region
* says a final decision in the matter is expected mid-2018, but the CPUC has slated a 24-month timeframe from opening of the proceeding to complete all work
SoCalGas is owned by California energy company Sempra Energy and Aliso Canyon is the biggest of its four storage fields. It supplies natural gas to homes and businesses in Southern California, including power plants and refineries.
SoCalGas has only limited access to fuel at Aliso Canyon following a massive methane leak from the facility, located in the Porter Ranch area of Los Angeles, between October 2015-February 2016.
Related story: SoCalGas to pay $8.5 mln for Aliso Canyon leak settlement with Calif. regulator (Reporting by Vijaykumar Vedala in Bengaluru)