ExxonMobil steps up Yellowstone River cleanup

Fri Jul 8, 2011 11:19pm EDT

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(Reuters) - ExxonMobil Corp's unit said it stepped up efforts to absorb the oil spilled from the ruptured pipeline in Montana and put more people at work to clean up the Yellowstone River.

ExxonMobil Pipeline Co said it placed more than 9,000 feet of boom and almost 160,000 absorbent pads to clean up oil adjacent to the river.

The company also added more people to its spill response team.

On July 3, Exxon said it had shut down a crude oil pipeline after as many as 1,000 barrels of crude oil leaked into the Yellowstone River in Montana. The oil company has estimated that from 750 to 1,000 barrels of oil were released before the leak was detected.

The spill came just weeks after the company shut down the pipeline in May after the city of Laurel had safety concerns due to the rising levels of the river from rain and runoff.

The Montana oil spill is far smaller than the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico last year and the Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska in 1989. The BP spill spewed 168 million gallons of oil and the Exxon Valdez spilled 11 million gallons of crude oil.

(Reporting by Thyagaraju Adinarayan; Editing by Don Sebastian)

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