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A pipeline leak in Billings County, ND, led to an oil and salt water spill Thursday, state officials said.

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

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

The Department of Health officials are at the site, and will continue to monitor the investigation.

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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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