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Ship anchor cited as possible cause for California oil spill

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Crews dressed in white coveralls and helmets raced against an approaching storm as they cleaned damage from 3,000 barrels(126,000 gallons) of oil that spilled into the Pacific Ocean in recent days from a pipeline connected to an offshore facility owned by a unit of Amplify Energy Corp.

Amplify CEO Martyn Willsher said at a news conference on Monday it was possible a ship anchor could have struck the pipeline. Earlier, he said the line was shut and its remaining oil removed. The company’s shares plunged 44% in heavy trading.

Officials deployed 2,050 feet (625 metres) of protective booms, which help contain and slow the oil flows, and about 3,150 gallons had been recovered on Sunday, the U.S. Coast Guard said. The Coast Guard is assessing whether one of numerous ships anchored off the California coast could be responsible, said Captain Rebecca Ore. Huntington Beach, about 40 miles (65 km) south of Los Angeles, had 13 square miles (34 square km) of ocean and portions of its coastline “covered in oil,” said Mayor Kim Carr. The town, which advertises itself as Surf City USA, is one of the rare places in Southern California where oil platforms are visible from the beach.


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