Faulty valve blamed for oil spill in North Dakota

BISMARCK, N.D. – State environment officials have said an oil field wastewater spill caused by a faulty valve had affected some pastures in western North Dakota.

The North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality said the spill of 12,180 gallons (46,000 liters) of water occurred Saturday in a well about 14 miles (22.5 kilometers) away. east of Watford City. Minot’s Landtech Enterprises informed the regulatory authorities about the spill on Monday.

State environmental specialist Bill Suess said about 168 gallons (635 liters) of produced water was escaping from the well site. He said that about 800 square feet (74 square meters) of pasture was affected. He said that no source of water had been damaged.

The water produced is a mixture of salt water and oil which may contain drilling chemicals. It is a by-product of oil and gas development.

Suess stated that a berm around the well site contained the majority of the spill but that some escaped through a door to the facility.

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