Exxon cleanup of Arkansas oil spill continues, pipeline still shut

HOUSTON, April 1 Mon Apr 1, 2013 10:59am EDT

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HOUSTON, April 1 (Reuters) - Exxon Mobil Corp on Monday had yet to excavate the area around an Arkansas crude oil pipeline rupture that sent thousands of barrels of crude into a housing subdivision last week, a company spokesman said.

Spokesman Charles Engelmann told Reuters that cleanup efforts were continuing and declined to speculate on when excavation would begin; the pipeline remains shut in the meantime. Digging down to the pipeline breach is a critical step in assessing damage and determining how and why it ruptured.

Exxon also did not yet have a specific figure of how much oil was released when the line ruptured on Friday. The company said on Sunday that 12,000 barrels of oil and water had been recovered.

(Reporting By Kristen Hays; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick)

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