California pipeline section strayed 105 feet out of place, had 13-inch split, divers confirm: report

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Divers investigating a massive oil leak off the coast of Southern California confirmed Tuesday that a 4,000-foot section of pipeline had dragged as far as 105 feet out of place and detected a 13-inch "split" in the line, according to a report.

The conditions confirmed by the divers had previously been detected by remotely operated vehicles that were deployed to inspect the 17.7-mile pipeline off Orange County, FOX 2 of the Bay Area reported.

The 13-inch split was the likely source of the recent leak, in which as much as 144,000 gallons of oil escaped into the Pacific Ocean, fouling area beaches, the report said.

SHIP ANCHOR INDICATED AS POSSIBLE CAUSE OF CALIFORNIA OIL SPILL

The split occurred where the pipeline was most severely displaced, by 105 feet, and the damage suggested that a great deal of force had caused the displacement and resulting rupture, Amplify Energy CEO Martyn Willsher said, according to the station.

A clean-up team works on clearing the oil slicks at the Talbert Channel after a major oil spill off the coast of California has come ashore in Huntington Beach, California, Oct. 3, 2021.  (Reuters / Reuters)

Officials have said they believe a ship’s anchor likely struck the pipeline. Several ships were in the area, with the closest being about 450 meters away.

The pipeline is a 16-inch steel pipe covered in concrete, Willsher said.

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No more oil was escaping from the pipeline Tuesday, Coast Guard Capt. Rebecca Ore said, according to FOX 2.

On Monday night, California Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency in Orange County because of the spill.

Fox News’ Kyle Morris contributed to this story.

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