Montana River Oil Spill

July 3, 2011 by staff 

Montana River Oil SpillMontana River Oil Spill, Exxon Mobil Corps. (XOM) said on Sunday it is the gradual increase of cleaning an oil spill resulting from a pipeline owned by the company in the Yellowstone River near Billings, Montana.

Exxon said it estimated that between 750 and 1,000 barrels of oil were spilled into the river, the pipeline was closed shortly after a loss of pressure is detected, the company said in a statement.

The incident, originally reported Saturday, caused the temporary evacuation of some residents. Local authorities said the floods have hampered the work of cleaning and filtering of the oil has traveled hundreds of miles and could reach the Missouri River, which is a tributary of the Yellowstone.

The Texas energy giant, said oil was found five miles downstream from the location of pipes, and is investigating reports of sightings of oil. Exxon says that air quality tests in the course have not detected any threat to public health. No reports of damage to water quality in municipal water systems have been received, Exxon said.

The leak came from a 12-inch pipeline running from oil Silvertip Silver Council, Mont., Billings. The incident comes amid growing concerns about pipeline safety derived from natural gas pipeline explosions in the U.S., and a large spill in July 2010 in which 20,000 barrels of oil escaped from an Enbridge Energy Partners LP (EEP) of pipelines in Michigan.

Exxon said it has not yet identified the cause of the spill. The pipeline was met “with all regulatory requirements” and was inspected in December. The U.S. pipeline Managing Hazardous Materials Safety program audited pipeline integrity management in June, Exxon said.

A state official said Saturday that although there is no reason for the discharge has been found yet, the floods that have affected the region might have played a role in the incident.

Exxon is bringing teams from around the country to the cleanup effort. “We will keep cleaning until it is complete, and we sincerely apologize to the people of Montana for any inconvenience that this incident is creating,” said Gary Pruessing, the president of Exxon Mobil Pipeline Co., in a statement.

The Silvertip crude pipeline originates at the border with Wyoming, Montana and delivery of oil to 60,000 barrels per day Exxon refinery in Billings, which is adjacent to the Yellowstone River. The plant processes crude oil from Wyoming and Alberta, Canada in gasoline and ultra low sulfur diesel, according to Exxon’s Web site.

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