Beta Operating Company, which is a subsidiary arm of Houston-based Amplify Energy, is suspected to be a trigger source for one of the largest oil spills recorded off the coast of California. According to media reports referring to regulatory records, the organisation has been cited 72 times for safety and environmental violations that could directly block its drilling operations.
Since 1980, Beta Operating Co. has been cited 125 times, according to records from the United States Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement. However, the details about each isolated incident that led to a potential violation have not been highlighted in the records, according to reports from Associated Press.
The organisation has been under the scanner of law enforcement authorities, who have reason to believe that it may be linked to an underwater pipeline leak that has let out 126,000 gallons of crude oil into the ocean waters, fouling the sands of Huntington Beach in California.
Environmentalists had feared the oil might devastate birds and marine life in the area. But Michael Ziccardi, a veterinarian and director of the Oiled Wildlife Care Network, said only four oily birds had been found so far. He said that one suffered chronic injuries and had to be euthanized, according to reports from Associated Press.
Amplify operates three oil platforms about 9 miles (14.5 kilometers) off the coast of California, all installed between 1980 and 1984. The company also operates a 16-inch pipeline that carries oil from a processing platform to an onshore storage facility in Long Beach. The company has said the oil appears to be coming from a rupture in that pipeline about 4 miles (6.44 kilometers) from the platform, Associated Press reported.
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.