Oil Spill in California Closes Beaches and Events

Courtesy of Louisiana GOHSEP (Flickr CC0)

A pipeline owned by Houston-based Amplify Energy Corp. had to shut down due to an oil leak off the coast of Orange County, California. The leak is suspected to have started either late night Oct. 1, 2021, or early in the morning on Oct. 2, 2021. It is around this time that boaters reported seeing a sheen in the water.

Courtesy of Julie Gibbons (Flickr CC0)

The company is estimating that around 126,000 gallons of crude oil leaked into the ocean. To limit the environmental impact from the leakage; crews started the grueling clean-up on Sunday.  Booms were deployed to try and contain the oil while diving crews tried to establish where — and possibly why — the oil spill occurred.

According to Houston-based Amplify Energy Corp’s CEO, Martyn Willsher, the three off-shore platforms the company owns were shut down Saturday night. Willsher added that the 17.5-mile pipeline is located 80 to 100 feet below the surface of the water. The pipeline was suctioned out to ensure no more oil would spill into the ocean.

The leakage caused the beaches of Huntington Beach — nicknamed “Surf City — to close down. The mayor, Kim Carr, said that Surf City could remain closed for weeks or possibly months. The spill created a sheen on a few miles wide strip in the ocean. Some of the sticky, black globules washed ashore.

Carr spoke about the issue, saying “In a year that has been filled with incredibly challenging issues, this oil spill constitutes one of the most devastating situations that our community has dealt with in decades.” Everyone is “doing everything in our power to protect the health and safety of our residents, our visitors, and our natural habitats.”

According to Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley, some fish and birds were caught in the muck and died. The Coast Guard released a statement saying there were “Other reports of oiled wildlife.” These reports “are being investigated.”

The Coast Guard deployed skimmers to lay 3,700 feet of floating barriers to hopefully stop oil from seeping into areas like Talbert Marsh.

According to Foley, the petroleum stench was so bad people could taste the oil “just from the vapors in the air.”

Written by Sheena Robertson


KSL: Crews race to limit damage from major California oil spill; by Amy Taxin and Christopher Weber

Inset Image Courtesy of Julie Gibbons’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

Top and Featured Image by Governor Jindal’s Office Courtesy of Louisiana GOHSEP’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License