Ruptured Oil Pipeline Spills 8,000 Gallons Into Oregon's Willamette River With PM-Oil Spill Rdp

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) _ A ruptured pipeline at a Chevron ship terminal dumped about 8,000 gallons of oil into the Willamette River early today, but most of the oil was contained quickly, a Coast Guard spokesman said.

A Coast Guard helicopter flying over the scene reported a light sheen of oil from the Chevron dock to the mouth of the river, about seven miles north.

A 16-inch oil pipeline ruptured underneath the shipyard dock while an oil mixture known as charge stock was being transferred onto the Chevron Louisiana tanker, said Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. David Gault. Charge stock is a liquid form of asphalt mixed with 2 percent to 3 percent diesel oil.

Chevron notified the Coast Guard of the spill shortly after midnight, Gault said. Refinery workers set out containment booms and shut down the pipelines, and by 1:30 a.m., 99 percent of the oil had been confined to the dock area.

By daylight, crews from Chevron and Riedel Environmental Services began raking the oil mixture onto absorbent pads and pulling the pads out of the water, said refinery planner Dennis Sorensen.

''The tides and winds were such that the oil was held in a cove near the dock,'' Sorensen said. He said the main spill was about 200 feet by 100 feet.

A spill response team was on its way from Chevron headquarters in San Francisco, and Sorensen said the experts would be able to estimate the damage.

Chevron could be fined up to $5,000 for the spill, Gault said.