Divers Identify Location of California Oil Pipeline Spill - Interagency Response Team
21:17 GMT 05.10.2021 (Updated: 10:12 GMT 07.12.2022)
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Divers contracted by the Unified Command team responding to the California oil pipeline leak confirmed that a section of the underwater pipeline was split and displaced but no longer leaking oil, an update published by the interagency team on Tuesday said.
“The Unified Command contracted commercial divers to identify the source of the leak. The divers on Monday validated Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) footage showing no indications of oil release at the potential source of the leak,” the Unified Command said.
"Diver reports and ROV footage show that a 4,000-foot section of the 17.7 mile-long pipeline was displaced with a maximum lateral movement of approximately 105 feet and had a 13-inch split, running parallel to the pipe."
The leakage, first reported on Saturday, caused approximately 126,000 gallons of oil to spill into the Pacific Ocean off the coast of southern California near Los Angeles.
Over 4,700 gallons of crude oil have been recovered, 11,360 feet of containment boom have been deployed, and six miles of shoreline has been cleaned up so far, the Unified Command said in their Tuesday update.
They added that eight affected birds have been recovered by responders, and that all fishing has been prohibited in the impacted areas. All beaches have also been closed in Orange County, an official added at a Tuesday press conference on the matter.
© REUTERS / GENE BLEVINSA fish swims under oil slicks in the Talbert Channel after a major oil spill off the coast of California has come ashore in Huntington Beach, California, U.S. October 3, 2021.
A fish swims under oil slicks in the Talbert Channel after a major oil spill off the coast of California has come ashore in Huntington Beach, California, U.S. October 3, 2021.
© REUTERS / GENE BLEVINS
Although officials are still unsure what caused the leak, earlier theories suggested that the pipeline could have been damaged as a result of a nearby vessel's anchor. However, Amplify Energy CEO Martyn Wilsher has not weighed in on the speculation. Amplify Energy has been the owner of the pipeline for nearly a decade now.
At present, the ongoing investigation into the leak is being headed by the US Department of Transportation.
Questions regarding the response to the spill have run rampant over the last several days, with some believing response crews were delayed in acting after reports detailed a 12-hour gap from the first calls on the California spill to when officials began to investigate the leak.
The US Coast Guard division overseeing the region recently addressed the concerns, with officials acknowledging that the agency had in fact followed standard procedures in the matter.