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MSC tries to move past 2021 California pipeline spill

Image: Taken from USCG video of pipeline USCG image of damage to underwater pipeline
Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) intends to enter into a settlement over the 2021 Orange County oil spill, but said it does not accept responsibility for the spill.

The company released further details of the intended settlement, which relates to a pipeline oil spill of around 25,000 barrels in October 2021.

Subject to finalisation, the provisions of the settlement agreement “will include recognition that MSC and other parties have not admitted to any liability, preserving their rights to defend the case against Amplify's insurers, and will require all participating parties to withdraw pending appeals, requests, and motions before the courts. It will further mandate that both Amplify and MSC release all claims of any kind prior to the agreement of settlement in relation to issues arising from the 2021 Orange County Oil Spill,” SMC said in a press release.

Amplify is the owner of the Orange County pipeline and alleges that MSC Danit dragged anchor in January 2021, leading to damage to the pipeline which was the source of the October 2021 spill. MSC Danit was boarded by US Coast Guard and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) marine casualty investigators in October 2021.

For its part, MSC maintains that its vessel manoeuvred correctly and that Amplify is responsible for the spill. MSC claims the Amplify took insufficient measures to protect the pipeline as shipping activity increased in the area, and “by failing to properly respond to eight separate leak detection alarms on the day of the rupture.”

The potential settlement involves MSC, Amplify Energy Corp. and its affiliated entities, Marine Exchange and the owners, operators and charterers of one other vessel, the Cosco Beijing.

MSC said the agreement is intended to move yet another step past the regrettable incident.

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