Clean up crews are working to contain an oil spill off the coast of Orange County in California in the United States.

Questions remain over how thousands of litres leaked into the Pacific Ocean and who is responsible.

Crews have been scooping black sludge from Huntington Beach as oil continues to float towards the shoreline and south into San Diego county.

The oil on the water is largely a sheen as coast guards confirm there is not many heavy patches of oil and the spill does cover a large patch of the ocean.

Officials did discuss details as to how the 33 centimetre slit in the pipeline occurred but pipeline owner Amplify Energy has suggested a ship’s anchor may have pierced it.

The coast guard has said companies involved in the spill are responsible for economic damages.

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