Vertiv Introduces New Single-Phase Uninterruptible Power Supply for Distributed Information Technology (IT) Networks and Edge Computing Applications in Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA)Read more Students from JA Zimbabwe Win 2023 De La Vega Global Entrepreneurship AwardRead more Top International Prospects to Travel to Salt Lake City for Seventh Annual Basketball Without Borders Global CampRead more Rise of the Robots as Saudi Arabia Underscores Global Data and Artificial Intelligence (AI) Aspirations with DeepFest Debut at LEAP23Read more Somalia: ‘I sold the last three goats, they were likely to die’Read more Merck Foundation and African First Ladies marking World Cancer Day 2023 through 110 scholarships of Oncology Fellowships in 25 countriesRead more Supporting women leaders and aspirants to unleash their potentialRead more Fake medicines kill almost 500,000 sub-Saharan Africans a year: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) reportRead more Climate crisis and migration: Greta Thunberg supports International Organization for Migration (IOM) over ‘life and death’ issueRead more United Nations (UN) Convenes Lake Chad Countries, Amid Growing Regional CrisisRead more

US Coast Guard probes anchor strike over California oil spill: report

show caption
Environmental response crews are cleaning up oil near the Talbert Marsh and Santa Ana River mouth./AFP
Print Friendly and PDF

Oct 06, 2021 - 03:37 AM

LOS ANGELES — The US Coast Guard is investigating a possible anchor strike as the cause of a broken pipeline that has spewed tens of thousands of gallons of crude oil into the sea off California, media reported Tuesday.

Around 126,000 gallons of thick, sticky fuel have fouled waters that are home to seals, dolphins and whales since a pipeline ruptured at the weekend.

A 15-mile (24-kilometer) stretch of coastline has been closed to the public, and fishing has been halted as crews scramble to clean up one of California’s biggest spills in decades.

The Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday that the Coast Guard was investigating if a large commercial ship set anchor in the wrong place — and damaged the pipeline.

Los Angeles and Long Beach are among the busiest container ports in the world. Pandemic-sparked logjams have seen dozens of huge container vessels stationed offshore as they wait for a berth.

Ships are given designated anchor points, usually well away from underwater hazards such as pipelines.

But the LA Times cited a source with knowledge of the investigation into the oil spill, who said a wrongly placed anchor may have dragged the pipeline along the seabed.

Officials under a “Unified Command” umbrella group said there are 14 vessels trying to recover oil from the water, with a little more than 4,000 gallons collected by Monday.

“The Unified Command is focused on the health and safety of the public, responders, and the protection of our coastal community,” said Coast Guard captain Rebecca Ore.

“We have many dedicated professionals working around the clock to clean up this spill and ensure the safety of the public and environment.”

Wildlife affected 

Amplify Energy, the company that operates the pipeline, said Monday that “as a precautionary measure, all of the company’s production and pipeline operations at the Beta Field have been shut down.”

CEO Martyn Willsher pledged the firm will do “whatever needs to be done” to take care of the spill, and said the company had significant insurance to cope with associated costs.

At least four birds have been found covered in oil, with reports of other wildlife also affected.

Officials have warned people not to touch or try to save any creatures they find, but instead to call local authorities and alert them to animals affected by the oil.

The spill originated near the Elly platform, which was built in 1980 and is one of 23 oil and gas drilling platforms in federal waters off California, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Environmentalists have repeatedly called attention to the age of some of the facilities — which they say are rusty and poorly maintained — and the risks they pose.

The disaster has reignited a debate about the presence of oil rigs and pipelines near the coast of Southern California.

MAORANDCITIES.COM uses both Facebook and Disqus comment systems to make it easier for you to contribute. We encourage all readers to share their views on our articles and blog posts. All comments should be relevant to the topic. By posting, you agree to our Privacy Policy. We are committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion, so we ask you to avoid personal attacks, name-calling, foul language or other inappropriate behavior. Please keep your comments relevant and respectful. By leaving the ‘Post to Facebook’ box selected – when using Facebook comment system – your comment will be published to your Facebook profile in addition to the space below. If you encounter a comment that is abusive, click the “X” in the upper right corner of the Facebook comment box to report spam or abuse. You can also email us.