California oil spill: Pipeline shuts down as beaches sealed off
- Divers were investigating the reason for the spill
- Beach shut down could extened to months
- Officials said that at least 126,000 gallons of crude oil spilled
A Southern California pipeline which was thought to be the source of a crude oil spill and closed miles of beaches on Sunday was no longer leaking, according to media reports citings statements from Martyn Willsher, the CEO of Amplify Energy.
Willsher said on Sunday that the underwater divers were still investigating the reason for the crude oil spill, however, the pipeline had been shut down while all remaining oil inside the pipe had been pulled out, according to reports from Associated Press.
Officials said that at least 126,000 gallons of crude oil spilled off the coast of Orange County in California from the pipeline, which reportedly runs to shore from an oil platform maintained by Amplify Energy, which is a subsidiary of Beta Operating Company.
Kim Carr, the mayor of Huntington Beach said that the beaches of the area could experience shutdowns that can be extended to weeks or even months.
“The spill has significantly affected Huntington Beach, with substantial ecological impacts occurring at the beach and at the Huntington Beach Wetlands,” the statement said, according to reports from Associated Press.
The oil created a miles-wide sheen in the ocean and washed ashore in sticky, black globules along with dead birds and fish. Crews led by the United States Coast Guard deployed skimmers and floating barriers known as booms to try to stop further incursion into the wetlands and the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve.
The closure stretched from the Huntington Beach Pier nearly 4 miles (6.4 kilometers) south to the Santa Ana River jetty amid summerlike weather that would have brought beachgoers to the wide strand for volleyball, swimming and surfing. Yellow caution tape was strung between lifeguard towers to keep people away, according to reports from Associated Press.
The Huntington Beach statement early Sunday said “while the leak has not been completely stopped, preliminary patching has been completed to repair the oil spill site," with additional repairs planned.