Not a gas well...
Time to be a pedant. Its not a 'gas well', its a 'gas storage facility'. Big difference. We use these facilities to store fuel during slack periods so that its available for peak periods.
Think of it as a set of giant subterranean gasholders.
All the fuss happened because the gas was standard odorized gas like you get coming through your meter so people noticed it. Individual bores have failed before, they do so every decade or two, but this one was noticeable because someone had parked an upscale housing development on its doorstep. These homes were sold on the bucolic lifestyle overlooking the San Fernando Valley with absolutely no mention of the facility (or a rather large landfill) being 'just over the ridge'.
Big cities need big infrastructure.