Yellowstone River oil spill studied Exxon Mobil chided for downplaying damage Laurel, Montana -- Just a stones throw away from Billings, Montana on the majestic Yellowstone River a oil pipeline owned by Exxon Mobil burst. Exxon maintains its a small spill and no wild life was harmed. The governor of Montana said, For somebody to say at this early stage that there's no damage to wildlife, that's pretty silly. Authorities say tens of thousands of gallons of oil has spilled into the flooding Yellowstone River and when the water recedes there will be an environmental mess. The oil has been reported showing up as far as 100 miles away, near the town of Hysham. An EPA official said only a small fraction of the spilled oil was likely to be recovered. Exxon maintains only 10 miles of river was affected. . The irrigation districts closed intakes across eastern Montana and they anticipate crop damage. The river banks were coated with thick globs of crude. The river is famous for its fishing and vital to farmers who depend on its water for their crops. People who have river front property realize that when the flooding river recedes theyll have a mess on their hands and property as well as the river banks. One property owner said, The smell has been enough to gag a maggot. I just hope it doesn't come too far because I'm on a well, and I won't appreciate having to shower in Exxon oil.