According to the Fire Department, the leak from a 20-inch pipe was reported at about 12:15 a.m. Thursday in Atwater Village and the oil line was remotely shut off. No injuries were reported.
Oil spilled over approximately half a mile and is knee-high in some areas. Firefighters and hazardous materials crews are on the scene.
A handful of commercial businesses are affected, including a strip club that was evacuated.
Fire Department spokesman Erik Scott says there's no "visible evidence" that the oil has entered storm drains, which empty into the Los Angeles River. But he says it's possible that oil has seeped under manhole covers.