September 27, 2022 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

Texas Energy Company and Subsidiaries Indicted for Negligence During Oil Leak that Damaged SoCal Coastline

Amplify Energy faces charges in connection to Huntington Beach spill

By Sam Catanzaro

A Houston-based energy company and its subsidiaries face federal negligence charges in connection to the Huntington Beach oil spill that resulted in 25,000 gallons of crude oil being deposited in coastal waters. 

A federal grand jury Wednesday accused Amplify Energy Corp. and its subsidiaries of illegally discharging oil during a pipeline break in early October by acting negligently in at least six ways, including failing to properly respond to eight separate leak alarms over the span of more than 13 hours and improperly restarting the pipeline that had been shut down following the leak alarms. 

The indictment filed charges the companies that own and operate the 17-mile-long San Pedro Bay Pipeline with one misdemeanor count of negligent discharge of oil. The charged defendants are Amplify Energy Corp., Beta Operating Co. LLC (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Amplify doing business as Beta Offshore) and San Pedro Bay Pipeline Co. (a wholly owned subsidiary of Amplify).

The pipeline, which was used to transfer crude oil from several offshore facilities to a processing plant in Long Beach, began leaking on the afternoon of October 1, but the defendants allegedly continued to operate the damaged pipeline, on and off, until the next morning, according to the indictment. 

“As a result of the allegedly negligent conduct, what is estimated to be about 25,000 gallons of crude oil were discharged from a point approximately 4.7 miles west of Huntington Beach from a crack in the 16-inch pipeline,” the Department of Justice said in a press release. 

The indictment alleges that the defendants acted negligently in numerous instances. 

At the top of the list is failing to properly respond to eight alarms from an automated leak detection system that were activated between 4:10 p.m. on October 1 until the final alarm at 5:28 a.m. the following day. In addition, the indictment accuses Amplify Energy of shutting down and then restarting the pipeline five times after the first five alarms were triggered on October 1, resulting in oil flowing through the damaged pipeline for a cumulative period of more than three hours. Furthermore, prosecutors say despite the sixth and seventh alarms, the company continued pumping oil for three additional hours late on October 1 into the early morning hours of October 2 while a manual leak test was performed. In addition, despite the eighth alarm, the incident says Amplify Energy continued to run the pipeline for around an hour in the predawn hours of October 2 after a boat they contacted failed to see discharged oil in the middle of the night. 

The indictment also charges Amplify Energy of operating the pipeline with crewmembers who had not been sufficiently trained on the automated leak detection system and also with an understaffed and fatigued crew.

The company has not released a statement in the wake of the indictment. In a press release following the spill, however, Amplify Energy noted that it was complying with federal and state investigations. 

“Offshore energy development and maritime traffic can and have coexisted in this region for decades and we are committed to working with maritime stakeholders to investigate this incident and ensure something like this does not happen again,” the company said. “We will work closely and cooperate with all regulatory and governmental bodies.”

in Crime, News
Related Posts

Permanent Homeless Shelter Slated for West LA Armory

September 24, 2022

September 24, 2022

Three-story building would include 167 beds By Dolores Quintana A permanent homeless shelter with 167 beds is being planned at...

Site Cleared for 123,000 Square-Foot Office Campus Near Venice

September 23, 2022

September 23, 2022

Glencoe Avenue development set to span three acres By Dolores Quintana Developer Mass Equities bought the site in 2019 with...

LA County Supervisor Holly Mitchell Endorses Erin Darling for Los Angeles City Council

September 23, 2022

September 23, 2022

Mitchell becomes the latest in a long and growing list of Westside elected officials to endorse the Venice local! By...

LA Councilman Gil Cedillo Endorses Traci Park in CD-11

September 23, 2022

September 23, 2022

Councilman praises Park, calls her “a fighter that will stand up for both the unhoused and housed.” California Lt. Governor...

Metropolitan Water District Completes Pipeline Repairs Ahead of Schedule Impacting Marina del Rey Residents

September 23, 2022

September 23, 2022

More than 4 million people affected by shutdown can now resume outdoor watering Residents and businesses in portions of Los...

Venice Surf Shop Reportedly Burglarized on Camera

September 22, 2022

September 22, 2022

Footage posted on social media over the weekend documents burglary at Mami Wata on Abbot Kinney By Dolores Quintana Video...

Kimama Cafe Hopes to Open Brick-and-Mortar Restaurant in Mar Vista or Culver City

September 22, 2022

September 22, 2022

Sisters Marine Lulu and Millie Nene Nabeshima fundraising for venture By Dolores Quintana Kimama Cafe, a vegan restaurant, is working...

Venice’s Baby Blues BBQ Seeking New Location Following Fire

September 22, 2022

September 22, 2022

Fire end of last month damages Lincoln Boulevard restaurant By Dolores Quintana Baby Blues BBQ in Venice has unfortunately closed...

Famous Italian Singer Zucchero to Play Beverly Hills Theatre on Sept. 30

September 21, 2022

September 21, 2022

Zucchero will play at Beverly Hills’ Saban Theatre, one of several American stops on his World Wide Tour  By Susan...

‘Sameday Health’ Launches Monkeypox Testing at Venice Beach Location

September 21, 2022

September 21, 2022

Get a same day appointments and 48 hour test results for covid-19, Flu, and Monkeypox testing now available at the...

This Is My Brave Comes to Santa Monica’s Broad Stage for Live Show Shining a Light on Mental Illness and Addiction

September 21, 2022

September 21, 2022

September 25 show features community members who live with mental health challenges telling their stories through poetry, music, comedy and...

Chevy Takes Over Electric Avenue in Venice to Celebrate National Drive Electric Week

September 21, 2022

September 21, 2022

Thursday, September 22 from 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. PST.   As part of Electric Car Week, on Thursday, September 22,...

Lights Remain out at Venice Fishing Pier!

September 20, 2022

September 20, 2022

A major electrical system repair will take to get the pier illuminated once again.  By Nick Antonicello  The lights at...

17 Cats Perish, Firefighter Injured in Fire at Local Feline Boarding Center

September 19, 2022

September 19, 2022

Saturday morning fire at CatPlaceLA remains under investigation By Sam Catanzaro 17 cats died over the weekend following a fire...

Legal Wrangling Continues Following LASD Search of Supervisor Sheila Kuehl’s Santa Monica Home

September 19, 2022

September 19, 2022

Hearing set for Thursday relating to LASD corruption investigation By Sam Catanzaro Last Wednesday, The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department...