ExxonMobil Pipeline Spills Oil Into Yellowstone River

Over 100 residents of Laurel, Montana, were evacuated from their homes early Saturday morning due to oil pipeline that spilled approximately 1,000 barrels of crude oil into the Yellowstone River.

The pipeline, which is owned by ExxonMobil, runs under the Yellowstone River near Billings in south-central Montana and leaked oil for about 30 minutes, according to a company spokesperson. At the time of this posting, the cause of the rupture is still unknown.

According to KSNT.com, Brent Peters, the fire chief for the city of Laurel about 12 miles east of Billings, said the break in the 12-inch diameter pipe occurred late Friday about a mile south of Laurel.

He said about 140 people were evacuated starting about 12:15 a.m. Saturday due to concerns about possible explosions, and the overpowering fumes. He said they were allowed to return at about 4 a.m. after instruments showed fumes had decreased. He said more evacuations occurred farther downstream outside his district but those numbers weren’t immediately clear.

ExxonMobil issued a statement in which it said that “The company ‘deeply regrets this release and is working hard with local emergency authorities to mitigate the impacts of this release on the surrounding communities and to the environment.’”

The company also said it was sending its North American Regional Response Team to the area to help with cleanup work, and that state and federal authorities had been alerted to the spill from the pipe belonging to the ExxonMobil Pipeline Company.

Peters told reporters that the river where the leak occurred is about 250 yards wide, and that early Saturday morning an oil slick appeared to be about 20 feet wide.

Thanks to record rainfall and melting mountain snowpack, the damaged pipeline is currently buried under the raging waters of the Yellowstone River at flood stage (NPR). Authorities suspect that debris caught up in the fast-flowing waters may have gouged the pipe, causing the spill.

Related Reading:

Deja Vu: Pipeline Explosion Causes Oil Spill In China

The After-Effects Of The BP Oil Spill

Michigan Oil Spill Prompts Local Evacuations

Oil Pipeline Threatens Isolated Tribes In Peru

Image Credit: Flickr – Neubie

65 comments

Alan B.
Archie B5 years ago

We get nowhere with C.E.O.s,they are there as shields for big time investors! Time to out them,give the top ten in $$$ of shareholdings in MOBIL a name,so they can be asked personally what they are going to do about compensation to the environment!

Cindy S.

It will never be enough Oil co. don't care about the environment or anybody else

Alexandra O.
Alex O5 years ago

When in the hell are these oil companies going to take responsibility for their wreckless actions that lead to more and more destruction of this earth? More importantly, when will they give a damn? No doubt, if they did, these "accidents" wouldn't be happening in the first place. They have an incredible sense of entitlement and because of the endless wallets they seem to possess, oil companies feel they have the right to rape our earth without any consequences. These money hungry mongrels make me sick and I hope they will be made to pay for their carelessness sooner rather than later. If not, I don't think this earth can take a whole lot more of them.

Bernadette P.
Berny p5 years ago

I'm so sick of the oil companies telling us how safe oil drilling is.
WHEN are we going to prosecute them for BILLIONS every time they do this.....THEN it will stop!

HIT THEM IN THEIR POCKET AND THINGS WILL IMPROVE!!!

Marie Kovar
Marie Kovar5 years ago

We need these people to be held accountable for bad equipment, bad operators and whatever else is at fault. if they can't do it right, they shouldn't do it at all.

antonella c.
Antonella C5 years ago

it's not the first time they destroy!!
when will they learn how to save the planet?

Shelly Smith
Shelly Smith5 years ago

John H...well there's an ignorant comment if I ever heard 1, are you really that stupid or just paid off?? Either way, please drop dead.

Carolyn Smith
Cally Smith5 years ago

For God'ssake how many more spills? With all this extra health and safety stuff everywhere why the hell is this happening so often?

Loo Samantha
Loo sam5 years ago

again ???

john hall
john hall5 years ago

Jonathan B. you brought up god so if you dont want it made a issue dont bring it up also ive been in this field for 23 yrs accidents will happen and there are some things that cant be controlled also people like you who are so want fossil fuels eliminated dont even have a clue on what it does for your life and how it helps you live .