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Damage to California pipeline which caused huge oil spill could have been caused a YEAR ago


The California pipeline that ruptured and leaked up to 132,000 gallons of crude into the sea near Newport Beach could have been damaged up to a year ago, according to the Coast Guard.  

It is believed that the pipeline was struck by a boat’s anchor and dragged 100 feet across the ocean floor. 

The pipe was last inspected and seen to be intact last October, officials said. 

Video inspection of the pipe shows it has a 13-inch fracture, which has expanded since it was first damaged, Coast Guard captain Jason Neubauer said Friday at a press conference, ABC News reports.

‘That has refocused the frame and timeframe of our investigation to at least several months to a year,’ Captain Neubauer added. 

Captain Neubauer said other ships’ anchors could have subsequently struck the steel pipe and that a large section was bowed and dragged across the ocean floor. 

The Coast Guard estimates that between 25,000 and 132,000 gallons of oil spilled from the ruptured pipeline off the shores of Orange County, creating a 13-square-mile oil slick in the Pacific. 

The Coast Guard could not confirm to DailyMail.com how far the oil spill has spread since. 

The US Coast Guard reported the California Pipeline that has spilled thousands of gallons of oil into the Pacific Ocean could have damaged months to a year prior to the spill. Coast Guard Capitan Jason Neubauer reported other ships’ anchor could have struck the pipe, leading to the 13-inch crack

The pipe (circled in red) was dragged 105 feet away and is bowed after a suspected anchor dragged it across the ocean floor

The pipe (circled in red) was dragged 105 feet away and is bowed after a suspected anchor dragged it across the ocean floor 

Roughly 588 barrels (24,000 gallons) of oil have spilled into the ocean, a SoCal Oil Response representative told DailyMail.com. It could not be confirmed how far the oil has spread toward international waters

Roughly 588 barrels (24,000 gallons) of oil have spilled into the ocean, a SoCal Oil Response representative told DailyMail.com. It could not be confirmed how far the oil has spread toward international waters 

A SoCal Oil Response representative told DailyMail.com that as of 7.30pm Friday, 5,544 total gallons of crude oil have been recovered by vessels in the area, according to SoCal Oil Response. 

A representative told DailyMail.com that they do not know how long it will take to clean up the oil spill.   

‘There’s not much sheening near Long Beach and Newport,’ the representative told DailyMail.com. 

Oil rig owner Amplify Energy Corporation was notified at 2.30am that the pipeline experienced a drop in pressure and could be a potential spill. The company shut the line down at 6.01am, but did not report an oil spill until 9.07am

Oil rig owner Amplify Energy Corporation was notified at 2.30am that the pipeline experienced a drop in pressure and could be a potential spill. The company shut the line down at 6.01am, but did not report an oil spill until 9.07am

A boat made an emergency call to the Coast Guard at 6.13am, reporting oil sheen on the water. Due to bad weather and the Coast Guard's inability to fly aircrafts at night, the oil spill was discovered to initially cover a 13-square-mile radius

A boat made an emergency call to the Coast Guard at 6.13am, reporting oil sheen on the water. Due to bad weather and the Coast Guard’s inability to fly aircrafts at night, the oil spill was discovered to initially cover a 13-square-mile radius 

ABC reported the oil spill was traveling down the coast toward Mexico, but SoCal Oil Response could not confirm how close the oil spill was to reaching international waters. 

An investigation has been launched by the US Coast Guard, the National Transportation Safety Board, and the Department of Transportation’s Office of Pipeline Safety into the spill and its timeline. 

The investigation team will look into a year’s worth of automatic identification system data and radar images from multiple sources, officials say.  

Newport Beach residents reportedly starting smelling petroleum late Friday night, but the Coast Guard did not start investigating the oil spill until the next morning.  

Crews have reported seeing very little oil sheen near Newport Beach, California. The beach opened back up on Friday, five days after the spill started

Crews have reported seeing very little oil sheen near Newport Beach, California. The beach opened back up on Friday, five days after the spill started 

As of 7.30pm Friday, 5,544 total gallons of crude oil have been recovered by vessel as crews continue to work

As of 7.30pm Friday, 5,544 total gallons of crude oil have been recovered by vessel as crews continue to work 

Oil covered the Newport Beach sand, which crews worked diligently to clean up

Oil covered the Newport Beach sand, which crews worked diligently to clean up 

‘Air teams can’t fly at night,’ a SoCal Oil Response representative told DailyMail.com. ‘They went up at first light to see at Newport Beach.’ 

Around 2am last Saturday, National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration’s satellite images showed a strong likelihood of oil sheen on the water. 

At 2.30am, an alarm sound at Amplify Energy Corporation – the company that owns the pipeline – indicating pressure had dropped and there could be a possible leak. 

It wasn’t until 6.01am that Amplify shut down the pipe. At 6.13am, a ship made an emergency call, reporting an oil sheen on the water. 

The German ship Rotterdam Express was initially suspected of causing the oil leak after making weird moments and was the closest to the break in the line. The ship's owner denied moving, saying 'it was basically 12 days on a standstill on the very same position' from the time they anchored on September 21 to October 3

The German ship Rotterdam Express was initially suspected of causing the oil leak after making weird moments and was the closest to the break in the line. The ship’s owner denied moving, saying ‘it was basically 12 days on a standstill on the very same position’ from the time they anchored on September 21 to October 3

Amplify didn’t report seeing oil sheen on the water until 8.09am, according to CBS

At 9.07am, Amplify reportedly an oil leak to the US Coast Guard. 

Around 9.10am, the US Coast Guard and Huntington Beach Police Department deployed aircrafts. 

California pipeline oil spill timeline: 

Friday 1 October, night: Newport Beach residents smell petroleum

Saturday 2 October, 2am: National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration’s satellite images show a strong likelihood of oil sheen on the water

2.30am: Amplify Energy Corporation gets a notification indicating pressure drop and possible spill

6.01am: Amplify shuts down pipeline

8.09am: Amplify reportedly saw oil sheen on the water 

9.07am: Amplify notified the US Coast Guard of the oil leak 

9.10am: US Coast Guard and Huntington Beach Police Department dispatched aircrafts 

Source: ABC News 

Despite the initial warning hours earlier, a SoCal Oil Response representative told DailyMail.com that the weather did not permit aircrafts until early Saturday, as the weather was not permissible. The area had experienced thunderstorms the night before. 

The representative also told DailyMail.com that the Coast Guard cannot deploy aircrafts at night due to low visibility and not being able to see oil on the water. 

Earlier this week, officials probed a German-flagged cargo ship about the leak. 

The 1,000ft Rotterdam Express made a series of unusual movements while anchored in the closest spot to where the break in the pipeline occurred, according to the Associated Press.

The owner of the ship, Hapag-Lloyd denied the movements in an email to USA Today. The company reported the shit had anchored on September 21 ‘exactly as requested and confirmed,’ and did not move until October 3 when it left for Oakland, California. 

‘It was basically 12 days on a standstill on the very same position,’ the email to USA Today stated. 

There was no oil reported around the ship before movement. The company reported the US Coast Guard cleared them from investigation before the ship left for Mexico after stopping at Oakland.  

On Friday, boats were allowed back into the Newport Harbor, five days after closure.  

DailyMail.com attempted to contact Amplify Energy Corporation. 



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