U.S. Coast Guard officials announced they may have found the source of the oil pipe leak, which spewed an estimated 144,000 gallons of crude oil along Orange County’s coastline.
OC Oil Spill
- Authorities now estimate a spill size range between 25,000 gallons to a maximum of 131,000 gallons
- 5,544 gallons of oily water retrieved
- Approximately 172,500 pounds of oily debris has been recovered from shorelines
- 14,060 feet of boom laid to try to curb oil spread
- More than 900 people on the ground in cleanup effort
- General questions: 714-374-1702
- Do not approach affected wildlife, call in a report: 877-823-6926
- Assist with animals: 714-374-5587
- Help with cleanups: 714-374-1702
- File a claim: 866-985-8366
“Upon further investigation we determined that approximately 4,000 feet (of the pipeline) … has been displaced and has laterally been displaced by 105 feet,” said Coast Guard Cpt. Rebecca Ore
Amplify President and CEO Martyn Willsher, who runs the oil platform, said “we take responsibility for all of it … we are the party that owns that pipeline and we will continue to be responsible [for clean up efforts].”
“The pipeline has essentially been pulled like a bow string,” Willsher said. “So it kind of is in a semicircle.”
Officials also clarified confusion about whether the company’s divers would be examining the pipe.
“Divers were sent down, these are commercially procured divers were sent down to assess that pipeline,” Ore said, adding that the divers were a third party procured by the unified command.
Gov. Gavin Newsom is expected to visit Orange County at 3 p.m. and is expected to meet with reporters.
At an earlier news conference on Monday at the unified command center\, Willsher said a boat anchor was one of many possible causes of the pipeline rupture, but then didn’t offer further details about the speculation on Tuesday, saying it was too early to know.
According to a March report from the Government Accountability Office, oil pipelines in the Pacific Ocean have been outfitted with sensors that are supposed to detect leaks by notifying company and government officials about a drop in pressure.
But it’s unclear if those sensors worked on the ruptured pipeline, which runs from Long Beach to an oil rig off the coast of Huntington Beach.
“There is a leak detection system [in the pipe] and we will turn over all that information to authorities,” said Willsher.
He refused to answer press questions about if the oil pipe sensor was working or not — or if anyone on the platform was notified.
Meanwhile, Ore said they often receive visual reports from boaters about oil sheens on the water.
“Our standard reporting procedures are to contact the reporting source,” Ore said. “In this case the reporting source did not provide us with additional information to characterize the sheen.”
The Orange County oil spill was first widely reported Saturday, Oct. 2. Questions remain around how and when the spill started.
Officials say they have shut down the pipeline and no more oil is leaking.
The cleanup is being handled by a task force led by the US Coast Guard, along with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and Amplify Energy, the operator of the burst pipeline.
The cities of Long Beach, Newport Beach and Huntington Beach are also assisting.
There is no set timeframe on when beaches will reopen, with Huntington Beach Mayor Kim Carr saying she’s heard “a few weeks to a few months.” No one from the task force has commented on when beaches will reopen or how long the recovery effort will take.