A four-mile-long sheen of oil extended about 50 yards into the waters along Refugio State Beach in Goleta, Tuesday afternoon. Emergency officials and ExxonMobil found the cause to be a ruptured pipeline that was leaking crude oil into the ocean off the Santa Barbara County coast.
The ruptured pipeline, which runs along the coast near Highway 101, was first reported to county fire officials about noon.
According the a spokesman for the Coast Guard, crews arrived and halted the flow of oil a few hours after it was reported.
It’s unclear at this stage how much oil streamed into the ocean, and officials could not confirm the type of oil that had been flowing through the pipeline.