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Officials investigate oil spill off coast

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oil Dickinson,North Dakota 58602
The Dickinson Press
Officials investigate oil spill off coast
Dickinson North Dakota 1815 1st Street West 58602

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (AP) -- Federal and state officials on Wednesday were investigating the source of an oil spill at an Exxon Mobil platform in the Santa Barbara Channel.

Coast Guard spokeswoman Stephanie Young said a caller alerted state officials about the spill at Platform Harmony on Monday. She did know the size or source of the spill.

Young said initial reports indicated the spill was caused by lubricating oil for the platform and not oil pumped from the well.

The state Office of Emergency Services said the spill in the water was 10 feet wide and stretched for about a mile. The platform is about four miles off California.

Margaret Ross, a spokeswoman with Exxon Mobil, said fewer than five gallons of fluid spilled.

"Exxon Mobil has been working expeditiously with the Coast Guard to try to identify the source of the light sheen," she said.

A 1969 oil spill in Santa Barbara that killed thousands of birds helped prompt the federal Clean Water Act and a moratorium on offshore drilling.