A cow rubbing against a valve and leaking pipe connections contributed to oil and gas spills this week in western North Dakota, the Department of Health said.

On Tuesday, about 20 barrels, or 840 gallons, of natural gas condensate released near Sully Creek, a tributary of the Little Missouri River when a cow rubbed up against a valve on a storage tank at a site owned by OneOK Rockies Midstream. When the cow rubbed up against the valve, it accidentally opened releasing the condensate. Cleanup of the area has begun and containment booms are in place as a precaution. Officials mooooooved the cow away from the area.

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Two other spills that occurred Tuesday involved produced water, also known as brine, a byproduct of oil production.

In one incident, a valve or piping connection leaked about 200 barrels, or 8,400 gallons, of brine from a Crescent Point Energy well two miles west of Wildrose in Williams County. The spill affected cultivated land. About 80 barrels, or 3,360 gallons, ended up recovered.

Schneider Bold

The second brine spill occurred at a well site owned by Samson Resources Co. six miles southwest of Crosby in Divide County. A leak in a valve or piping connection caused brine to spray. About 410 barrels, or 17,220 gallons, were contained on the site and 15 barrels, or 630 gallons, escaped onto cultivated land.

In both of the brine spills, officials will remove the contaminated soil to a licensed disposal facility.

Health department inspectors are monitoring the cleanup efforts.

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