It is not if, but when. That is a cliché used in the cyber security industry, but it also sees plenty of action in North Dakota when it comes to brine and oil spills.
This time around 2,500 gallons of saltwater and 200 gallons of oil spilled and reached a tributary of a creek in Northwest North Dakota, said state Department of Health officials.
Just around 60 barrels of brine and five barrels of oil leaked into a tributary of Stony Creek near Bowbells, ND, health department officials said. The spill has had an impact on the water, where workers set up a dike to prevent further runoff downstream. It wasn’t immediately clear what caused the Saturday spill.
The department said inspectors have been on the scene to monitor the cleanup by OXY USA Inc.
Brine is an unwanted byproduct of oil production and the state considers it an environmental hazard. It is many times saltier than sea water and can easily kill vegetation exposed to it.
Earlier this month, a ruptured pipeline led to a 10,000-gallon oil spill in McKenzie County, state officials said.
The 238-barrel leak occurred after the pipeline owned by Belle Fourche Pipeline Co. was struck by equipment Friday during excavation of the area about 18 miles south of Alexander, health department officials said.
One week before that, another pipeline ruptured during excavation leaking 19,000 gallons of saltwater in northwest North Dakota.
The pipeline owned by Continental Resources ruptured after it ended up struck by equipment excavating at the site about 16 miles north of Tioga.