Yellowstone River Oil Spill Will Cost Exxon $135 Million

Wading In A cleanup worker lays oil absorbent materials into the Yellowstone River, July 6, 2011.

Wading In A cleanup worker lays oil absorbent materials into the Yellowstone River, July 6, 2011. Photo credit: JIM URQUHART / AP

Originally posted on Huffington Post.

BILLINGS, Mont. — Exxon Mobil said Friday it expects to incur costs of about $135 million from an oil pipeline break beneath Montana’s Yellowstone River that triggered a massive effort to limit damage to the scenic waterway.

The cost figure was released to The Associated Press. It is more than triple an earlier estimate and includes for the first time the expense of replacing the section of broken pipeline with a new one buried more deeply beneath the river.The company’s 12-inch Silvertip crude oil pipeline broke July 1 during severe flooding.

In the 56 minutes it took Exxon Mobil to seal off the line, an estimated 42,000 gallons of oil leaked into the river near Laurel. That fouled dozens of miles of riverbank, numerous islands and swaths of low-lying cropland with crude.

More than 1,000 workers were involved in the cleanup effort at its peak.

Work to remove the damaged pipeline began Monday and is expected to take several weeks.

An Exxon Mobil spokeswoman declined to offer a detailed breakdown of the company’s costs and provided only a broad overview of expenses…

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