By Amy Texan and Christopher Weber
HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. (AP) – Officials are considering whether the ship’s anchor may have hit an oil pipeline at sea level, causing a crude oil spill in Southern California waters. There will be a big leak.
The head of the company operating the pipeline said Monday that divers had inspected more than 8,000 feet (2,438 meters) of the pipe and were focusing on “an area of significant interest.”
Martin Wilsher, CEO of Amplify Energy, told a news conference that a ship’s anchor hitting the pipeline was “one of the different possibilities” for the cause of the leak.
U.S. Coast Guard officials say cargo ships entering the twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach pass through the area as usual.
“We’re looking at whether it could have anchored off the ship, but it’s still under evaluation,” said Coast Guard Lieutenant Commander Jenny Shea.
The leak, which surfaced on Saturday, has blurred the sands of the famous Huntington Beach and other coastal communities. Expansion can keep beaches closed for weeks or months.
This is the latest news. Below is the AP’s introductory story.
HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. (AP) – A company operating a suspected pipeline in California’s largest oil spill has been cited 72 times for safety and environmental violations that were so severe that drilling had to be stopped or Had to pause to resolve this issue, regulatory records show.
The Bureau Operating Company has been cited 125 times since 1980, according to a database of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, the federal agency that controls the offshore oil and gas industry. The online database only provides the total number of violations, not the details of each incident.
The company was fined a total of 85 85,000 for three incidents. The two were from 2014, when a worker who was not wearing proper safety equipment was shocked by 98,000 volts of electricity, and a separate incident when crude oil was released through a boom where a safety device was incorrectly ignored. was done.
Beta, a subsidiary of Houston-based Amplify Energy, is under investigation after a suspected leak in an underwater pipeline sent 126,000 gallons (572,807 liters) into heavy crude seawater, known as The sands of Huntington Beach and other coastal communities are deteriorating. . Spreads can keep beaches closed for weeks or more.
Environmentalists feared the oil could destroy birds and marine life in the area. But only four oily birds have been found so far, said Michael Zack Cardi, a veterinarian and director of the Oiled Wildlife Care Network. One suffered permanent injuries and was sentenced to death, he said.
“It’s better than our fears,” he told a news conference Monday.
Ziccardi said he was “cautiously optimistic” but it was too early to say the extent of the impact on wildlife. In other foreign oil spills, he said, the largest numbers of oil birds were collected two to five days after the incident.
Amplify operates three oil platforms about 9 miles (14.5 kilometers) off the coast of California, all installed between 1980 and 1984. The company also operates a 16-inch pipeline that carries oil from the processing platform to the on-store storage facility in Long Beach. The company said the oil appeared to be coming 4 miles (6.44 km) from the platform after the pipeline exploded.
Prior to the outbreak, Amplify had high hopes for the beta oil field and was investing millions of dollars in upgrades and new “side track” projects that would later be drilled.
“We have the opportunity to continue as long as we want,” said Martin Wilsher, CEO of Amplify, in an August conference call with investors. He added that there is a capacity of up to 20,000 barrels a day.
Investors shared Wilsher’s hopes, sending the company’s stock to گنا 5.75 at the end of trading on Friday, seven times higher than at the beginning of the year. The stock fell more than 40% in Monday morning’s trade.
The company filed for bankruptcy in 2017 and came out a few months later. It was repaying a loan of 23 235 million in Oklahoma and Texas using cash generated by Beta Field and others.
Some residents, business owners and environmentalists questioned whether the authorities reacted quickly. People living and working in the area said they saw a flash of oil and a strong smell of petrol on Friday evening.
Boats were deployed at sea level on Sunday to try to control the oil, while divers tried to determine where and why the leak occurred. On the ground, there was a race to find the oil-damaged animals and prevent any sensitive swamps from being damaged.
But it wasn’t until Saturday afternoon that the Coast Guard said an oil trick had been spotted and a unified command had been set up to respond. And it took the company until Saturday night to shut down the pipeline.
“People were emailing, and neighbors were asking, ‘Do you smell it?'” Blue Star Yacht Charter owner Rick Turgerson said Friday evening. he said.
Gary Brown, president of the environmental group Orange County Coast Guard, noted the lack of initial coordination between the Coast Guard and local officials in tackling the oil spill.
“When it comes to the beach, it has done a lot of damage. Our frustration is that it could have been avoided if there had been an immediate response.
Some oil spilled off the coast of Orange County. The city and state beaches on Huntington Beach were closed, and the city of Laguna Beach, just south, said its beaches were closed late Sunday.
Huntington Beach Mayor Kim Carr said community beaches called “Surf City” could be closed for weeks or months. The oil sparkled a mile wide in the ocean and washed the shore into sticky black globules.
“A year full of incredibly challenging issues, this oil spill is one of the most devastating situations our community has dealt with for decades,” Carr said. “We are doing our best to protect the health and safety of our residents, our visitors and our natural habitats.”
Amplify CEO Martyn Willsher said the pipeline and the company’s three platforms were shut down Saturday night. The 17.5-mile (28.16-kilometer) pipeline, which is 80 to 100 feet (24 to 30 meters) below the surface, was excavated so no further oil will be spilled while the location of the leak is being investigated.
The 25-acre (10-hectare) wetland, officials said, led by Coast Guard-deployed scammers, staff set up floating barriers of about 3,300 feet (1,128 m), covering 25 acres (10 hectares). The area is trying to prevent more oil from entering, including Talbert Marsh.
The oil is likely to wash off the coast for several days and could affect Newport Beach and other nearby communities, officials said.
It spread three decades after a massive oil spill off the coast of Orange County. On February 7, 1990, an oil tanker ran over its anchor near American Trader Huntington Beach and spilled about 4,417,000 gallons (1.6 million liters) of crude oil. Fish and about 3,300 birds were killed.
In 2015, a ruptured pipeline north of Santa Barbara spilled 143,000 gallons (541,313 liters) of crude oil on Refugee State Beach.
The area affected by the latest outbreak is home to endangered and endangered species, including icebergs, California minimal turn and humpback whale.
Associated Press authors Michael Bessaker in Washington DC, Bernard Condon in New York, Felicia Fonseca in Phoenix and Julie Walker in New York contributed to this report.