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Santos Limited says the cleanup operations resulting from the Lytton oil spill are well underway.

The Company plans to have the bulk of free surface oil resulting from todays leak from the Moonie to Brisbane pipeline, removed by later tomorrow.

It is expected to be another day or so, however, before Santos personnel are able to access the leak point in the underground pipeline and determine the cause of the spillage.

The leak was reported early today at a point 500 metres from the Lytton Terminal, 15 kilometres east of Brisbane.

This is a regrettable incident and its cause is being fully investigated, Santos General Manager Northern Australia, Mr Rod Rayner, said.

We regret the inconvenience to workers in nearby premises as well as some Brisbane motorists, Mr Rayner said.

There has not been any overflow into the Brisbane River and we have secured all areas where there was any threat of the spillage entering major waterways with three levels of protection in stormwater drains near the site.

A fleet of 19 vacuum trucks is now working around the clock on the cleanup.

We hope by Thursday to access the point in the pipe where the leak occurred to start gaining an understanding of the cause of the pipeline failure, he said.

Mr Rayner said Santos was working closely with EPA and emergency services personnel in co-ordinating clean-up response procedures.

He said the integrity of the pipeline is checked at regular intervals and it had also undergone a major inspection in November last year.