OC oil spill: Coast Guard investigating reports off Huntington Beach coast

The U.S. Coast Guard investigated reports of an oil spill off the coast of Huntington Beach Friday morning.

Officials received a call around 7 p.m. Thursday regarding potential oil in the water off the Orange County coast. When the Coast Guard arrived, they found what appeared to be oil "sheen in the water" that stretched for approximately two miles in the ocean.

The spill is located about two miles off the coast of Huntington Beach, near the oil platforms named Emmy and Eva.

Approximately 85% of the sheen, roughly 85 gallons of product, was recovered before the deteriorating sea state caused operations to pause for the evening, the Unified Command announced Friday night.

Officials said the spill may be coming from a platform, but confirmed that it is not a natural occurrence.


Huntington Beach city officials said they are also continuing to evaluate the coastline, but have not been able to substantiate reports or details of the spill.

The Oiled Wildlife Care Network has been activated, and crews are investigating reports of oiled wildlife. As of 2 p.m. Friday, one oiled grebe was recovered, according to the Coast Guard.

Long Beach city officials are also closely monitoring the spill. They announced Friday that there is no present concern over the spill impacting the Long Beach coast. Beaches in that area are open to the public.

"Amplify Energy Corp. is aware of reports of an oil sheen off the coast of Huntington Beach, California. At this time, we have no indication that this sheen is related to our operations," the oil and natural gas company shared in a statement. "We will continue to cooperate with the U.S. Coast Guard and other relevant authorities and provide support in any way we can."

Some tar balls were spotted on the sand at Dog Beach. 

A massive oil spill occurred in the same area in 2021. The 2021 spill dumped about 25,000 gallons of oil into the ocean. The oil spilled from an underwater pipeline that carries crude from several offshore drilling platforms to a processing plant in Long Beach. Investigators ultimately determined the pipeline was damaged by the dragging of a cargo ship's anchor.

That spill led to multiple lawsuits, millions of dollars in settlements and fines against pipeline owner Amplify Energy Corp.

Newport Beach officials issued a statement Friday saying they are "actively monitoring" the oil, but do not believe it poses a threat to the city at this time.