Drilling lubricant from pipeline project leaks into Marys River

PHILOMATH, Ore. -- Drilling lubricant leaked into Marys River Thursday after a crew tried drilling underneath the waterway for a pipeline project, officials from Northwest Natural said.

The lubricant, a natural element called Bentonite, was released into the river through a weak point when crews were drilling horizontally underneath the riverbed.

NW Natural spokeswoman Melissa Moore said about a "hot tub-sized" batch of the clay-like substance leaked, adding that the leak will eventually "self-heal".

Workers blocked off the area where the spill took place. Officials said that the crews will start drilling on the other side of the project.

Moore said that NW Natural is working closely with the Army Corps of Engineers and the State Department on the project and will continue to monitor the leak.