Clean up crews work to collect oil from alongside the Yellowstone River in Laurel, Mont.
NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Exxon Mobil ( XOM) hastened to clean up tens of thousands of gallons of oil on Tuesday that burst into the Yellowstone River from one of its ruptured pipelines in Laurel, Mont. The pipeline, which runs from Silver Tip, Mont. to Billings, Mont., failed on Saturday. Exxon shut down the pipe in seven minutes after pressure loss was discovered and it isolated the segment where the oil spewed. "ExxonMobil Pipeline 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 said in a statement on Saturday. Exxon's shares closed down 46 cents at $81.55 on Tuesday, as the Dow component mobilized quickly to contain the spill.
A sheen of oil can be seen in the water on property owned by Jim Swanson in Laurel, Mont. The leak started from a 12-inch crude pipeline, and Exxon estimated that the total amount of oil released from Saturday to Tuesday was between 750 barrels and 1,000 barrels. The Yellowstone River spill amount paled in comparison to the estimated 35,000 barrels to 60,000 barrels that polluted the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. Exxon set up a hotline for individuals who feel they've been impacted by the problem. The company reported that some 94 calls were placed through Monday night.
Exxon Mobil contractors put absorbent sheets over oil that came into the backyard of a home along the Yellowstone River near Laurel, Mont. By Sunday, Exxon had already stepped up its presence with roughly 120 people involved in efforts to clean up the oil spill. "We are bringing in experts from across the country to clean up the oil," said Gary Pruessing, ExxonMobil Pipeline Company president, in a statement. "We will stay with the cleanup until it is complete, and we sincerely apologize to the people of Montana for any inconvenience the incident is creating." On Sunday, air quality monitoring confirmed that there was no danger to public health, and there were no reports of complications with the quality of drinking water.
Exxon Mobil contractors clean up oil along the banks of the Yellowstone River in Billings, Mont. "We will continue to add resources and are extremely grateful for the patience and assistance of local residents and authorities," Pruessing said on Sunday. By Monday, Exxon reported that more than 280 people were involved in cleanup efforts. Crews had used about 2,300 absorbent pads that measured more than 48,000 feet to soak up oil that had washed to shorelines. Exxon had also deployed vacuum tankers to suck the oil from the river.
Oil swirls in a flooded gravel pit in Lockwood, Mont. after a pipeline break early Saturday. Exxon shares saw a minor hit on Tuesday following the accident. "I didn't feel like this was a huge event," said Philip Weiss, oil and gas analyst at Argus Research, who characterized the stock's 0.5% dip as reasonable and said that he wasn't surprised. The Yellowstone River spill would only exacerbate issues for Exxon shares if it became a repetitive problem, according to Weiss. -- Written by Joe Deaux in New York. >To submit a news tip, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org