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Thursday, January 17 , 2019, 8:27 pm | Fog/Mist 57º


Lubricant Oil Leak Reported at Platform Harmony

Divers are on the scene but have been prevented by weather conditions from searching for the source.

U.S. Coast Guard inspectors are investigating an oil leak at Exxon Mobil’s Platform Harmony, six and a half miles off the Santa Barbara Coast and due south of Arguello Inc.‘s Gaviota oil terminal.

Exxon Mobil reported the leak Monday morning to the Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Services. The initial amount of leaked oil reported was 17 ounces, and it has been spilling since Monday at a rate of seven drops per minute, according to Chuck Reed, a Coast Guard marine science technician. The leak appears to be coming from below the surface, he said, and a full investigation is under way.

Divers were on the scene Wednesday waiting to try to locate the source of the leak, but weather conditions have prevented them from diving. A Coast Guard statement said there have been no reports of injuries or impacts to wildlife and the release is not expected to hit shore. Coast Guard spokeswoman Stephanie Young described the oil as a light lubricant, not crude oil.

In addition to the Coast Guard and the Office of Emergency Services, the California Department of Fish and Game and the Minerals Management Service are investigating.

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