An oil spill in marine waters offshore California can be a devastating and disastrous event. Many factors can be managed to minimize the environmental, political, and financial impacts from such a spill. Among these factors are preplanning, careful execution of a sound response, and proactive attention to the media. This paper examines these factors and others as they relate to a recent spill of 163 barrels of crude oil caused by a catastrophic failure of the 20-inch wet oil pipeline in the Point Pedernales field. In the end, the effort was hailed by agencies as a "text-book" response.

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