HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif.—Federal and state investigators were focusing Monday on a 41-year-old pipeline as the likely source of an oil spill that killed wildlife and eroded the coast of Southern California, and an oncoming The storm threatened cleanup efforts.
The weekend spill sent 3,000 barrels of crude oil (126,000 gallons) into the Pacific Ocean. Officials identified the line as the San Pedro Bay Pipeline that connects an offshore oil production platform to a site in Eureka, Calif.
Mayor Kim Carr said Huntington Beach, about 40 miles (65 km) south of Los Angeles, was hit hardest with 13 square miles (34 sq km) of ocean and parts of its coastline “covered with oil”. Was.
Cleaners wearing white coveralls and helmets worked along the beach and wetlands running inland from the sea on the eastern side of the Coastal Highway. The oil-coated birds were washed ashore with the dead fish.
The inlet feeds Magnolia Marsh, a wetland that was rehabilitated after the Huntington Beach Wetlands Conservancy purchased the land in 2008. Each year 90 bird species use the area, including eight to 10 that are either endangered or threatened, the official said.
Officials identified the platform and pipeline operator as Beta Offshore, a California subsidiary of Houston-based offshore crude oil producer Amplify Energy Corp.
On Monday, Amplify did not return calls seeking information. On Sunday, Amplify executive Martin Wilsher said a pipeline carrying oil from the Alley offshore platform had been shut down and its remaining oil was pumped out.
AccuWeather reported that the storm that hit the Los Angeles area could begin late in the day and continue through Tuesday. This may hinder the clean-up operation.
Federal officials have intensified investigations into aging and defunct offshore energy pipelines. Energy companies have built 40,000 miles (64,000 km) of oil and gas pipelines in federal offshore waters since the 1940s.
Regulator The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) said this year that regulators have failed to address risks from idle pipelines, platforms and other infrastructure on the ocean floor.
“As pipelines age, they are more susceptible to damage from corrosion, mudslides and seafloor erosion,” Gao said.
According to the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, twenty-three oil and gas production facilities operate in federal waters off the coast of California. Beta Offshore has three platforms, including Ally.
The US Coast Guard said officials deployed 2,050 feet (625 meters) of protective booms that help stop and slow the oil flow, and about 3,150 gallons were recovered on Sunday.
by Jonathan Allen, Jean Blevins and Jessica Resnick Alt
This News Originally From – The Epoch Times