September 24, 2022

Raven Tribune

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Deal on big fine: Amplify Energy pleads guilty to oil spill

Agreement on higher fines
Amplify Energy pleads guilty to oil spill

Southern California’s coastline isn’t just a surfer’s paradise. But that will change in October 2021. Lumps of tar on the sand, dead birds and a large film of oil in the water portend disaster. The company operating the pipeline officially declares itself liable and accepts the fines.

Ten months after the oil spill hit the California coast, the operators of the damaged pipeline have agreed to pay nearly $13 million in fines and restitution. Amplify Energy, the Texas company that operates the pipeline in Huntington Beach, and its subsidiaries Beta Operating and San Pedro Bay Pipeline announced a settlement with the attorney general’s office. They plead guilty to causing the oil spill.

Under the agreement, the companies must pay $7.1 million in fines. Also, $5.8 million will be awarded to officials involved in cleaning up the oil spill.

hole in pipe

A rupture in the Amplify pipeline in October spilled millions of liters of crude oil into the sea. The oil polluted 15 miles of coastline between Huntington Beach and Laguna Beach, south of Los Angeles, popular with surfers and dolphins.

Investigation revealed that a large part of the pipeline had migrated under the sea and ruptured. Investigators suspect the damage may have been caused by the ship’s anchor. The nearby container ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are among the busiest ports in the world.

The pipeline operators also pledged in the agreement to make “significant improvements” to prevent future oil spills, according to prosecutor Stephanie Christensen. So Amplify wants to install a new leak detection system and intensify inspections on the pipeline.

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