BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) -- An Alberta-based company that built a natural gas pipeline through a stretch of southeastern Montana has offered compensation to landowners for damage caused when parts of the trench caved in this spring.

The Billings Gazette published a story on Wednesday in which landowners complained that TransCanada built the pipeline in the winter and when snow and ice in the backfill melted this spring, the trench caved in.

TransCanada spokesman David Dodson said Thursday that landowners featured in the story had been contacted and compensation offered.

Carter County rancher Wade Klauzer says he's satisfied with the offer. Two others are waiting to see how things play out.

Wilma Rusley says she hopes people negotiating easements for TransCanada's proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline "get a lot more stuff written into their contracts."

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Information from: Billings Gazette, http://www.billingsgazette.com

Copyright 2011 The AP.

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