July 17, 2011 in Region

Oil left in broken pipeline removed, and more to come

Associated Press
 

BILLINGS – An official with the Environmental Protection Agency says a procedure to remove residual oil from a broken Exxon Mobil pipeline in the Yellowstone River in south-central Montana recovered about 100 barrels of material Saturday morning.

Steve Merritt said workers expected to extract about 200 barrels of oil and river water by the end of the day from the north side of the broken pipe, with tests to determine how much of the material is oil.

Merritt said crews will repeat the procedure today on the south side of the pipe that officials say appears to be completely severed. Merritt said the south portion of the broken pipe likely contains more oil than the north side.

The pipe failed July 1, spewing an estimated 1,000 barrels of crude into the flooding river.

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