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Pipeline from California oil spill was moved 105 ft along sea floor

Published by , Senior Editor
World Pipelines,

According to Reuters, a section of the oil pipeline that burst off the Southern California coast was displaced 105 ft (32 m) across the ocean floor.

The revelation came as the US Coast Guard and drilling company Amplify Energy Corp came under further scrutiny about the time it took to respond to the spill, amid reports that mariners first reported seeing oil in the water on Friday night, when official notification did not come until Saturday around midday.

Roughly 3000 bbls (126 000 gal.) of crude oil spilled into the Pacific Ocean.

The oil appears to have leaked through a 13 in. gash in the pipe, which was "pulled like a bowstring" about 105 ft from where it should have been, Martyn Willsher, Chief Executive of Amplify Energy, told a news conference. Amplify owns the pipeline and connected rigs.

In all a 4000 ft (1.2 km) section of the 17.7 mile (28.5 km) pipeline was displaced laterally, as discovered by a remotely operated vehicles, US Coast Guard Captain Rebecca Ore told reporters.

The pipeline runs along the ocean floor from the Elly platform, about nine miles (14.5 km) offshore in 255 ft of water, then heads toward port. On Tuesday, the US Department of Transportation said the entire pipeline should remain shut until ordered to be reopened.

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