A section of pipeline that ruptured sending as much as 2,400 barrels of crude oil into the Santa Barbara coastline in May was severely corroded, federal regulators said on Wednesday.
Third-party inspectors estimated that corrosion of the line owned by Texas-based Plains All American Pipeline had degraded to 1/16th of an inch, said a U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) corrective action order document.
The May 19 spill dumped as much as 2,400 barrels (101,000 gallons or 382,000 liters) of crude onto a pristine stretch of the Santa Barbara coastline and into the Pacific, leaving slicks that stretched over 9 miles (14 km) along the coast and closed two California state beaches.
Fortunately, the spill was halted relatively soon after it began. The oil company said it shut the flow about 30 minutes after pressure irregularities were detected.