SANTA ANA (United States), March 1 (AP) — Shipping companies will pay nearly $97 million to settle a lawsuit with a pipeline operator over an oil spill off the coast of Southern California in 2021, pipeline companies said Wednesday.
Companies associated with M/V Danit and M/V Beijing agreed to pay, Houston-based pipeline operator Amplify Energy said in a statement.
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Amplify blamed the ships for dragging anchor and striking pipelines off California during a January 2021 storm that spilled 25,000 gallons (94,600 liters) of crude oil into the Pacific a few months later.
After payment was made, Amplify said it would waive its claim against the shipping line.
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“Amplify’s settlement of claims against the vessel and its affiliated entities concludes our involvement in litigation related to the 2021 pipeline incident,” Amplify President and CEO Martyn Willsher said in a statement.
A message seeking comment was sent to the shipping company’s lawyers.
While less severe than initially feared, the spill has washed ashore so much crude that it has closed beaches for a week, closed fisheries for more than a month, coated birds and threatened wetlands.
Southern California fishermen, tour companies and owners are suing Amplify and the shipping vessel for damages. Amplify agreed to pay $50 million and Ships agreed to pay $45 million to settle the lawsuits.
Amplify reached a plea deal with federal authorities for negligently discharging crude oil, indicting the ships and Marine Exchange, an organization that helps monitor maritime traffic.
Ocean Exchange also agreed to a non-monetary settlement with Amplify, the statement said. Details of the settlement were not immediately released. (Associated Press)
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