A valve failure appears to be the cause of an oil and saltwater spill of over 500 barrels in Ross, North Dakota, in Mountrail County has been contained, state officials said.
Statoil Oil & Gas L.P. reported 427 barrels of oil and 142 barrels of saltwater released, contained and recovered Tuesday at the Anderson 28-33 3H well about seven miles south of Ross.
A valve failure is one of the main thoughts behind what caused the spill, officials said and a state inspector is on the site to investigate further.
This is the second release this month at a Statoil site, said sate Oil and Gas Division spokeswoman Alison Ritter.
A pipeline five miles northwest of Arnegard in McKenzie County leaked a preliminary estimate of 75 barrels of saltwater, with some runoff possibly entering nearby Timber Creek.
As a result of the oil boom in North Dakota, the federal government is keeping a watchful eye on what is happening throughout the state.
Since January 2012, 34 North Dakota workers in the oil and gas and construction industries died because of work-related injuries. During that period, their deaths accounted for 87 percent of all North Dakota fatalities investigated by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA).
As a result, OSHA launched an enforcement emphasis program in July to address continued concerns about worker safety in these North Dakota industries.
“These industries are inherently dangerous, and workers are exposed to multiple hazards every day. Their safety must not be compromised because demand for production keeps increasing,” said Eric Brooks, OSHA’s area director in Bismarck. “Workers are coming to these growing industries to find jobs, not catastrophic injury and preventable death. These employers have a legal responsibility to protect every employee that works for them.”