Boost power to restart the San Pedro Bay Pipeline damaged by the ship’s anchor

U.S.-based crude oil transportation and production company Amplify Energy announced Saturday that it has received necessary federal regulatory approvals to resume operations at the Beta field off the coast of Southern California.

The company will initially focus on filling the San Pedro Bay Pipeline, a 17-mile pipeline that will transport crude oil from several offshore facilities to a processing facility in Long Beach. The pipeline has been out of service since it was damaged by a ship’s anchor and released about 25,000 gallons of crude oil into the water in October 2021.

The filling process is expected to take two weeks.

Once the line has been filled, the pipeline will be operated in accordance with restart procedures reviewed and approved by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). Amplify Energy President and CEO Martyn Willsher emphasized that safety will remain the company’s top priority as it resumes operations at the beta field.

“Federal regulatory approval and the receipt of $85 million in net proceeds from the vessels that struck and damaged our pipeline essentially completes the last 18 months of the last 18 months for the company,” Willsher said. “We are committed to focusing our attention on the safe operation of our beta assets, our business as a whole and the Company’s strategic direction.”

The pipeline rupture that caused the oil spill is still under investigation, but the US Coast Guard and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) believe the pipeline was pulled by a ship’s anchor during a storm on January 25, 2021 – more than 9 months ago the oil spill was discovered. The incident was never reported and the pipeline was not inspected until oil washed up on Southern California beaches in early October 2021.

Divers discovered that part of the pipeline on the sea floor had been displaced about 100 feet and had a 16-inch crack located about 4.7 miles west of Huntington Beach. The MSC Danit And Beijingtwo container ships, have been named as prospective bidders for the initial anchor hauling.

The incident came as San Pedro Bay anchorages were packed with ships waiting to enter the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, amid the pandemic-driven import surge that has overwhelmed the country’s supply chains.

In connection with the incident, Amplify Energy pleaded guilty to criminal negligence last year and agreed to pay nearly $13 million in fines after it was found the company continued operating the pipeline for hours after leak alerts were sounded , and then improperly restarted the pipeline after it was shut down.

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