Ship anchor possible cause of California oil spill

A major oil leak off the coast of Southern California that has killed wildlife and fouled beaches may have been caused by a ship anchor.

That's according to officials looking into the leak of more than 3,000 barrels of oil from the pipeline.

The pipeline is connected to an offshore rig owned by a unit of Amplify Energy.

On Monday, the company's CEO, Martyn Willsher, said it was possible a ship anchor could have struck the pipeline.

Dozens of container ships have been stranded off the coast recently, awaiting their turn to enter the port.

Willsher thinks they are close to finding the source of the leak:

"We have examined more than 8000 feet of pipe and we have isolated one specific area of significant interest. We did this primarily through ROV to this point, but we are sending divers down now to verify some of what we what we are seeing via the RV. "

The spill has closed beaches in Southern California and caused dead fish and birds to wash up on shore.

One beach south of Los Angeles had 13 square miles of ocean and portions of its coastline covered in oil.

Magnolia Marsh - a wetland home to 90 bird species - is also under threat.

Cleanup teams on Monday were racing against time to contain the spill as a storm approached.

They've deployed more than 2,000 feet of floating barriers known as oil booms which help contain and slow the oil flows.

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