Mysterious oil globs close 7 miles of Los Angeles-area beach

Associated Press
A worker removes oil from the beach at Refugio State Beach, north of Goleta, Calif., Thursday, May 21, 2015. More than 7,700 gallons of oil has been raked, skimmed and vacuumed from a spill that stretched across 9 miles of California coast, just a fraction of the sticky, stinking goo that escaped from a broken pipeline, officials said. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Copyright , The Associated Press

MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Nearly 7 miles of Los Angeles-area coastline was closed to beachgoers Thursday as scientists investigated mysterious balls of tar washing ashore.

Officials said it appeared to be about a barrel or two of oil — nothing like the pipeline spill that created a 10-square-mile slick off the Santa Barbara County coast last week and killed some 16 birds and nine marine mammals.

Beaches from the El Segundo jetty south to Redondo Beach were off-limits to residents and visitors as crews cleaned up the mess that began accumulating on the sand Wednesday.

Public health officials told people to avoid contact with the water, wet sand or any material that washed up in the area. They warned that contact with petroleum products can cause skin irritation and result in long-term health problems.

There has been no indication so far of harm to wildlife.

The cause of the goo was a mystery. There's a refinery and offshore oil tanker terminal nearby, but the U.S. Coast Guard did not find a sheen from a spill. It could be residue from the Santa Barbara spill.

Also natural seepage has been known to leave tar balls on the sand — and beachgoers' feet.

Did You Like this Article? Get All the Energy Industry News Delivered to Your Inbox

Subscribe to an email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest news and information.

 Subscribe Now

Whitepapers

Maximizing Operational Excellence

In a recent survey conducted by PennEnergy Research, 70% of surveyed energy industry professional...

Leveraging the Power of Information in the Energy Industry

Information Governance is about more than compliance. It’s about using your information to drive ...

Reduce Engineering Project Complexity

Engineering document management presents unique and complex challenges. A solution based in Enter...

Revolutionizing Asset Management in the Electric Power Industry

With the arrival of the Industrial Internet of Things, data is growing and becoming more accessib...

Latest PennEnergy Jobs

PennEnergy Oil & Gas Jobs