Worst California Oil Spill In "Decades", May Take "Years" To Clean Up

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by Tyler Durden
Monday, Oct 04, 2021 - 05:36 PM

Update (1346ET): Shares of Amplify Energy crashed as much as 50% in premarket and is down 40% in the US cash session after its subsidiary, Beta Offshore, experienced a leak in its pipeline off the coast of Huntington Beach, Orange County. 

Amplify shares are set to record the worst ever daily decline in the company's five-year trading history.

What we know so far is an estimated 126,000 gallons of post-production crude leaked from Beta's underwater pipeline 4.5 miles offshore Saturday morning and reached Orange County's beaches later that night. 

Katrina Foley, Orange County supervisor, told CNN Monday that officials know a leak was coming from a "decades-old pipeline." She said beaches and wetlands in the spill area are "saturated with oil." 

Foley was asked if this type of event would take years to clean up. She responded by saying: "That's my concern."

Orange County health officials told residents to avoid beaches. The Laguna Beach published a warning Sunday evening that all beaches are closed. Newport Beach issued an advisory warning against swimming. 

Huntington Beach Mayor Kim Carr on Sunday described the spill as a "potential ecological disaster."

"In a year, that has been filled with incredibly challenging issues, this oil spill constitutes one of the most devastating situations that our community has dealt with in decades," Carr said. "We are doing everything in our power to protect the health and safety of our residents, our visitors, and our natural habitats."

 Here are scenes from the ecological disaster: 

RT News spoke with a Huntington beachgoer who explained the oil spill is "horrible -  I want to know who's responsible for it, it's all about accountability. You can smell it, and you're getting a headache from it, big blobs of oil all over the place. I've been coming here for 20, 30 years. This is the worst I've seen."

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Amplify Energy shares crashed as much as 35% premarket Monday after its subsidiary, Beta Offshore notified the US Coast Guard on Oct. 2 of an oil leak coming from one of its underwater pipelines that have caused a possible 'ecological disaster' for Southern California beaches, according to Bloomberg

A company statement said operations at the Beta Field had been shut down as a precautionary measure, and an Oil Spill Prevention and Response Plan has been initiated as city authorities for Huntington Beach, which is a beach town within Orange County, estimates 126,000 gallons of oil leaked from a broken underwater pipeline, covering beaches and wetlands with crude. 

Over the weekend, Huntington Beach officials warned residents to stay away from beaches as oil washed ashore and blackened the sand. There's also been reports of oil-covered birds and marine wildlife washing ashore. Some described the spill as a potential ecological disaster. 

The news of the oil spill has been compounding trouble for one billionaire, Marc Lasry, who owns a 6.7% stake in the company. The spill comes just a few weeks after he took on the role of chairman at Ozy Media, which just shut down after a report in NYT about its dubious business practices.

The oil spill couldn't have come at the worst time for the fossil fuel industry, as a green push has ignited a movement to decarbonize power grids.