ExxonMobil Oil Spill Possibly Attributed To High Water Damages, Officials Say
A damaged oil pipeline owned by ExxonMobil ruptured last Friday causing more than a 1,000 barrels of oil to spill near the town of Laurel, Montana--10 miles west of Billings.
Although officials have not determined the exact cause of the rupture, both ExxonMobil and government officials have said that high waters this year may have exposed pipelines to be damaged from debris, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The spill was reported late Friday night and ExxonMobil was quick to react closing down pipelines within a matter of minutes.
From The New York Times:
The rupture occurred sometime around 11:30 p.m. Friday. Duane Winslow, a disaster and emergency services coordinator for Yellowstone County, told a local television station, KTVQ, that all oil companies with pipelines near the river were told to immediately shut them down, and that the damaged pipe was off within half an hour.
The company released a statement saying, "We will stay with the cleanup until it is complete, and we sincerely apologize to the people of Montant for any inconvenience the incident is creating."
According to Exxon officials, the company took proper safety precautions to ensure seasonal flooding was not an issue before reopening the pipelines this May.
Although initials concerns of water contaminations and explosion hazards have been dismissed with safety investigations by local fire department officials, neighbors are still worried farmers in the area will bear the brunt of the punishment from the spills.
From The Los Angeles Times:
“We can’t really tell what it’s going to do for our fisheries downstream,” Eric Beebee, 37, said of the oil as he worked at Bighorn Fly and Tackle Shop in Billings on Sunday. “If it was going to affect anybody, it’s going to be the farmers and the ranchers because the water is pushed up so high, when it recedes, it’s going to be left on their land.”
ExxonMobil has released a claims hotline number for those affected by the oil spills and the company is urging people to report oil spills for cleanup efforts.
ExxonMobil claims hotline: 1-888-382-0043