An oil pipeline just began to leak in Ventura, California. Early Thursday morning, firefighters rushed to the scene to try and prevent the crude oil from spilling into the ocean. Ventura County Fire Department spokesperson Mike Lindbery originally said the leak could involve as much as 5,000 barrels of crude oil.
Crimson Pipeline owns the leaking pipeline. On their website they say they “safely” own around 1,000 miles of pipeline throughout California, in Ventura, Orange, Kern County, Los Angeles, and some areas in Northern California. The oil in question belongs to Aera Energy, one of the largest producers of oil and gas in California, who on their website say they “take pride in our excellent safety and environmental performance.”
Related: Why didn’t the California pipeline that spilled 101,000 gallons of oil have an auto shut-off valve?
NBC Los Angeles reports that the pipe “burst” around 5:30 AM local time. Both the Ventura County and Ventury City fire departments initiated investigations. A hazmat team was also dispatched to the scene. Crews saw crude oil spilling “into the Prince Barranca,” a water flow that leads to a beach. Firefighters are now working to try and make sure the oil doesn’t reach the ocean.
Crews are utilizing bulldozers to build barriers, but also hope a natural basin will help catch the oil as well. Crimson Pipeline shut the pump off, but while the pipe is depressurized, oil continues to flow because of gravity. According to officials, they notified the California departments of environmental health and fish and game about the leak.
California has battled oil spills and even an Exxon Mobil oil refinery explosion in the past. Over 100,000 gallons of oil spilled into the ocean near Santa Barbara, California due to a pipeline crack just over a year ago.
Via the Los Angeles Times
Images via J Brew on Flickr and Wikimedia Commons