Three Companies Indicted for Negligent Conduct During Offshore Oil Leak
On December 15, 2021, a grand jury in the Central District of California indicted Amplify Energy Corp., Beta Operating Co. LLC (a wholly owned subsidiary of Amplify doing business as Beta Offshore); and San Pedro Bay Pipeline Co. (a wholly owned subsidiary of Amplify). The indictment charges the companies with illegal discharge of oil during a pipeline break in early October. The indictment also alleges that the companies acted negligently in several ways, including failing to properly respond to eight separate leak alarms during a span of over 13 hours and improperly restarting the pipeline that had been shut down following the leak alarms. The pipeline, which was used to transfer crude oil from several offshore facilities to a processing plant in Long Beach, California, began leaking on the afternoon of October 1, but the defendants allegedly continued to operate the damaged pipeline until the next morning. As a result, an estimated 25,000 gallons of crude oil was discharged from a fissure in the pipeline approximately 4.7 miles west of Huntington Beach, California.
Note: Indictments, informations, and criminal complaints are only accusations by the Government. All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.