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There was a spill of about 2,000 gallons of saltwater and oil from a pipeline leak in Billings County, ND, state officials said.

The state Health Department estimated 40 barrels of saltwater and 8 barrels of oil spilled at a site operated by White Rock Oil and Gas Friday, about 18 miles northwest of Belfield. Saltwater is a byproduct of oil production. A barrel holds 42 gallons.

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Officials say an undetermined amount of saltwater and oil flowed into a stock pond. Officials with the Health Department and the state Oil and Gas Division are on site.

Billings County suffered a similar leak last month when a pipeline burst and there was an oil and salt water spill, state officials said at the time.

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About 300 barrels of the oil and salt water mixture released, said state Department of Health officials. About 50 barrels of that amount flowed into Franks Creek, about 16 miles northwest of Belfield, according to officials.

The spill occurred at a site operated by White Rock Oil and Gas.

Salt water, or brine, is an unwanted byproduct of fracking oil production. It is many times saltier than sea water and can easily kill vegetation.

Brine spills have been an issue throughout North Dakota. In just one case in October, after workers lost control of a well in northwestern North Dakota, oil and saltwater continued to spill across the area until workers were able to shut it down four days later, officials said.

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