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.
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.
“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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