6th October (WNN) — Investigators say they found a 13-inch wound in a section of an oil pipeline that spilled about 150,000 gallons of crude off a beach in Southern California.
The 4,000-foot section of the pipe was pulled about 100 feet from its original location, leading investigators to believe it may have been bent and pulled by a ship’s anchor.
“The pipeline is essentially pulled like a bow string,” Martin Wilser, CEO of Amplify Energy, the owner of the pipeline, told reporters Tuesday, according to CNN.
Officials have not confirmed the presence of a ship above the spill site but are investigating the possibility, US Coast Guard Captain Rebecca Ore said.
A large number of container ships are waiting to dock at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach due to supply chain challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s like taking 10 lanes of freeway traffic and moving cargo to five when they get here,” Jean Cerocca, executive director of the Port of Los Angeles, told CNN.
The oil spill was reported about 5 miles off the coast of Huntington Beach late last week when pipeline workers noticed a glow in the water. Initial reports estimated 126,000 gallons of crude ran out, but the estimate has since been updated to 144,000 gallons.
Last weekend, the pipeline was shut down for no more than 3 hours and the spill was not reported to the National Response Center for more than 6 hours, according to a letter reported by the US Department of Transportation and USA Today .
The smell of petroleum and some reports of a possible leak were made a full day before the leak was discovered.
Officials working to clean up, investigate and protect wildlife have led to some beach closures and fishing restrictions. California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Orange County The Board of Supervisors declared a state of emergency in order to receive federal aid.