Newsom tours SoCal oil spill that may have been caused by ship's anchor

A federal agency issued an order Tuesday saying Amplify Energy and its subsidiary Beta Offshore must keep its southern California pipeline, that leaked as much as 144,000 gallons of crude oil, closed until it completes a list of corrective actions.

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) said the actions must include inspection reviews, document reports and metal testing, and be completed within a timeline of 180 days.

The U.S. Coast Guard says a diving team located a source of this weekend's Amplify Energy pipeline rupture.

"A 13-inch split in that pipe, on the side of the pipe that was the likely source of release," said U.S. Coast Guard Captain Rebecca Ore.

The pipeline connects three oil platforms to a storage site at Long Beach and divers saw no oil coming from the pipe.

"We've determined that approximately 4,000 feet of the 17.7 mile pipeline has been displaced, and it's been laterally displaced by 105 feet," said Ore.

Investigators say they are looking into the possibility that a ship's anchor might have hit the pipeline and caused the rupture. The area is close to the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

Martyn Willsher, president & CEO of Amplify Energy, says the pipeline displacement was very unusual.

"It is a 16-inch steel pipeline that is a half inch think and covered in an inch of concrete and for it to be moved 105 feet is not common," said Willsher, saying the platforms and pipeline have been shut down.

Cleanup efforts continue on the water and on the Orange County shoreline, with more than 300 workers.

See also: Governor declares state of emergency; records show slow response to California oil spill

Sticky clumps of black oil covered Huntington Beach Tuesday. Instead of sunbathers in swimsuits, crews in biohazard suits were sifting the sand for spilled oil instead of seashells.

Gov. Gavin Newsom toured the site with state and federal lawmakers. He says California and the federal government need to move away from oil.

"It's time, once and for all, to disabuse ourselves that this has to be part of our future.  This is part of our past," said Newsom.

See also: A look back at other historic oil spills

"This was a federally permitted facility, California doesn't have jurisdiction over permitting that facility," said Ethan Elkind, director of the UC Berkeley Law Climate Program.

"The state government does have jurisdiction over and the local government as well, over some of the supporting facilities that support that offshore rig, so that means the pipelines that come on shore and facilities that process some of that crude oil that's coming off of that offshore facility," said Elkind.

Elkind says although the federal government regulates offshore operations, the state can take action onshore to protect human health and wildlife.

"The state really would be well suited to have a buffer zone between oil and gas production facilities and sensitive sites like hospitals and schools. It should be at least a 2,500-foot buffer," said Elkind.

He says while California is dependent right now on oil, the offshore rigs are a small part of the supply.

"The bulk of that is actually down in Kern County, outside of Bakersfield that's about 70% of California's oil gas production is just in Kern County alone. And then, LA County is a second biggest oil producing county in the state," said Elkind.

The federal order did note that Amplify Energy first noted a drop in pipeline pressure about 2:30pm Saturday and the pipeline was turned off three hours later.

A class action lawsuit has been filed against Amplify Energy.

The company says it is fully cooperating with the state and federal investigations as officials try to determine the cause of the oil spill.

Jana Katsuyama is a reporter for KTVU.  Email Jana at and follow her on Twitter @JanaKTVU or Facebook @NewsJana or