UPDATE 3-Canadian Pacific oil spill cleanup to last two days

Thu Mar 28, 2013 3:56pm EDT
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* Recovery efforts continue at Minnesota spill site

* Freezing temperatures turn oil into tar-like substance

* Debate rages over risk of transporting oil via rail

* Around 15,000 gallons of crude leaked, less than first thought

By Edward McAllister

March 28 (Reuters) - Recovery efforts were underway on Thursday to clean up an oil spill in western Minnesota, a day after a mile-long Canadian Pacific Railway train derailed, rupturing three tankers and leaking around 15,000 gallons of fuel.

The cleanup was expected to take another day or two, officials said, after 14 cars on a 94-car train heading for the Chicago area left the tracks on Wednesday about 150 miles northwest of Minneapolis near the town of Parkers Prairie.

The spill, which has triggered an investigation by federal officials, came as a debate rages over the environmental risks of transporting Alberta tar sands crude across the border from Canada.

This was the first major spill since a boom in North American oil production began to outgrow the existing pipeline network, prompting a huge rise in crude-by-rail transport three years ago.   Continued...