Platform Holly | Credit: Paul Wellman (file)

A long-form oil seep drifting down and around Platform Holly caught the attention of Corey Linberg as he took off on a commercial flight that left Santa Barbara airport early this afternoon. Linberg made the flight about once a week, and he’d never seen anything this extensive before, he said. He quickly snapped photos, concerned that a spill was emanating from the offshore oil platform.

The platform is run by Beacon West as it is being decommissioned and its wells plugged, under the management of the State Lands Commission, which had not received any incident reports, said spokesperson Sheri Pemberton.

The Coast Guard at the Santa Barbara Harbor investigates spill reports, and Chief Warrant Officer Paul Ricketson with the Marine Safety Detachment said Beacon West reported they had no issues at the platform. Ricketson added that they’d been receiving more frequent public sighting reports since an underwater pipeline split open in October off Huntington Beach, releasing about 25,000 gallons of crude.

Ricketson advised that the best place to report a possible spill was to the National Response Center, which would contact the responsible parties for incidents in both federal and state waters. That number is (800) 424-8802.

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