A Coast Guard official said Thursday that the amount of crude oil spilled in a foreign pipeline leak in Southern California is about 25,000 gallons.
The worst-case scenario for a leak off the coast of Orange County was previously estimated at at least 25,000 gallons (94,635 liters) and no more than 132,000 gallons (499,674 liters).
The final count of the spread is likely to be closer to the lower numbers, which is related to the amount of oil visible off the coast of California. Coast Guard Captain Rebecca Ore said Thursday.
“We are very confident that the volume is about 588 barrels,” he told reporters. “This number could potentially accommodate a small degree.”
Protective workers comb the sand to wash oil on the beach.
Roy Kim, an environmental scientist at the California Office of Spill Prevention and Response, said the size of tar balls deposited on coastal beaches has shrunk since the early days of the outbreak. He said the teams have moved from Bolsa Cheeka State Beach in Huntington Beach to La Jolla in San Diego County.
The outbreak was confirmed by Huntington Beach on October 2, a day after residents reported a petroleum odor in the area.
Coast Guard officials said it came from a Houston-based Amplify Energy-owned pipeline that cuts off crude oil from offshore platforms to shores.
Officials say the cause is still under investigation, and they believe the pipeline may have broken several months and a year before the ship’s anchor.
The city of Huntington and the state coast, as well as the coast of neighboring Newport Beach, were closed until Monday.