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The anchor of a ship that caused the oil spill in California? – Orange News


published on Tuesday 05 October 2021 at 22:07

The Coast Guard is trying to determine whether the oil spill threatening California beaches could have been caused by the anchor of a ship that pierced an oil pipeline, local media reported on Tuesday.

In total, 24 km of coastline between Huntington Beach and Laguna Beach, famous beaches in southern Los Angeles also known for their dolphins, seals and other marine life, has been closed to the public.

Fishing has also been banned due to the leak reported over the weekend from a nearby passing pipeline, which could reach up to 480,000 liters of crude oil.

The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are among the busiest in the world. Like other infrastructures of this type, they are facing significant delays, further reinforced by the Covid-19 health crisis, and many cargo ships and container ships are forced to wait at sea before being able to dock.

These ships are assigned anchor points away from pipelines and other underwater equipment.

But an anchor thrown in the wrong place could drag the pipeline for about fifteen meters, causing the leak, according to a source close to the investigation into the oil spill cited by the daily Los Angeles Times.

Relief has mobilized fourteen specialized ships that have been busy recovering as much oil as possible since Sunday. Just over 15,000 liters had been extracted from the sea on Monday evening.

“We have many professionals working around the clock to clean up this oil spill and keep the public and the environment safe,” said Rebecca Ore, captain of the California Coast Guard.

The Texan company Amplify Energy, which operates the pipeline through its subsidiary Beta Offshore, sent a remote-controlled vehicle to check its installation and was to dispatch a team of divers after identifying the probable source of the leak.

Its CEO, Martyn Willsher, pledged to “do whatever is necessary” to repair the impact of the oil spill, which could be partially contained by floating dams deployed by the relief workers.

Four seabirds stuck in oil had been collected on Monday but some protected reserves along the coast were polluted.

According to experts, it is still too early to assess the damage because the consequences on the environment will not be felt for several days or even weeks.

The leak at the origin of the oil spill occurred near the Elly platform, built in 1980 to process crude extracted from dozens of neighboring wells.

A total of 23 oil and gas platforms are installed in federal waters in Southern California.


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