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ExxonMobil rushes to clean up oil leak

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Posted: Apr 30, 2012 5:37 PM by Rob Krieger
Updated: Apr 30, 2012 5:37 PM
Source: WBRZ

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Topics: ExxonMobil, cleanup, oil, leak, torbert, pipeline, louisiana

TORBERT, La.- ExxonMobil is rushing to clean up at least 80,000 gallons of crude oil that leaked from one of their pipelines over the weekend.

Engineers in Houston noticed a loss of pressure in the pipeline Saturday night and immediately shut it down, but the source of the leak wasn't discovered until Sunday afternoon.

Now crews are working overtime to get a handle on the spill.

"We want to make sure we have this oil contained, it is contained, we have boom out we continue to monitor that to make sure it goes no further, it's contained in this area," said Karen Tyrone, the Vice President of ExxonMobil Pipeline Company.

Exactly how the leak happened is still unknown, but residents in the area tell News 2 they began smelling crude oil Friday evening.

"It looks like a science fiction all the trucks," said Melva Williams, who owns the property where the leak was found, "I said man this can't be my place, how am I gonna get down my drive!"

Exxon has leased space from Williams' property to set up a command center where they can stage and monitor the cleanup.

The leak may have started on land, but seems to have leached into a nearby canal.

"There was some product in that bayou, they've taken the necessary precautions and extended boom up and down and also have some vacuum trucks which are sucking the oil off the surface of the water," said Pointe Coupee Parish Sheriff Bud Torres.

Exxon could take several weeks to cleanup the entire leak. They plan to use Louisiana companies to aide in their effort.

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