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United States v. Amplify Energy Corp., Beta Operating Company, LLC, and San Pedro Bay Pipeline Company

United States v. Amplify Energy Corp., Beta Operating Company, LLC, and San Pedro Bay Pipeline Company

Court Docket Number: 8:21-CR-226-DOC (C.D. California)

Court Assigned: This case is assigned to the Honorable David O. Carter, Ronald Reagan Federal Building and United States Courthouse, 411 West Fourth Street, Courtroom 10A, Santa Ana, CA, 92701-4516.  Trial is scheduled to begin on November 1, 2022 at 8:30 a.m.

Criminal Charge: On December 15, 2021, Amplify Energy Corp., Beta Operating Company, LLC, and San Pedro Bay Pipeline Company (collectively, “defendants”) were indicted on one count of negligent discharge of oil into the contiguous zone of the United States (33 U.S.C. §§ 1321(b)(3), 1319(c)(1)(A)), in a case arising out of the oil spill off of Huntington Beach, California on October 1 and 2, 2021.

According to the indictment, defendants own and operate the 17-mile-long San Pedro Bay Pipeline that transports oil from offshore platforms to Long Beach, California.  The indictment alleges that, on October 1 and 2, 2021, defendants illegally discharged oil into the Pacific Ocean by acting negligently in at least six different ways in response to the Pipeline’s leak alarms.  As a result of the discharge, approximately 25,000 gallons of crude oil leaked from the Pipeline into the San Pedro Bay. 

For more information about the charge, please see below:



Proposed Plea Agreements:On August 26, 2022, the government and defendants filed three proposed plea agreements – one for each of the three defendants – pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 11(c)(1)(C). Subject to court review and approval, the plea agreements provide, among other things, for defendants to plead guilty to violating the federal Clean Water Act, collectively pay a $7.1 million federal criminal fine, and compensate federal programs approximately $5.8 million in connection with the discharge of approximately 25,000 gallons of crude oil during the October 2021 oil spill in San Pedro Bay. The proposed plea agreements further provide for defendants to be placed on probation for a period of four years, during which time they will be subject to a series of compliance and remedial measures.


The plea agreements are “binding” plea agreements, which means that the judge presiding over the case, United States District Judge David O. Carter, must accept or reject all aspects of the plea agreements. Should the court decide not to accept the plea agreements, any party may withdraw from the agreements and the case would proceed toward trial. A hearing has been scheduled for September 8, 2022 at 9:00am for the parties to appear for the Court’s consideration of defendants’ proposed guilty pleas. Members of the public and potential victims are welcome to attend.

For more information about the proposed guilty pleas, please see below:


[PDF, 365.6KB]









The information on this website will be updated as new developments arise in the case. If you have any questions or want to express your views regarding a potential resolution, please send correspondence to: Environmental and Community Safety Crimes Section, 312 N. Spring St., 13th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90012, Attn: Orange County Oil Spill/Victim Input.

Updated April 4, 2023