Pipeline Spill Affects Waterway In McKenzie County

ARNEGARD, N.D. – State regulators are investigating a pipeline spill in McKenzie County in northwest North Dakota that contaminated an unnamed waterway and is similar to an incident that occurred in the same location in 2014.

Oasis Petroleum reported a spill Tuesday, Feb. 28, that released an estimated 500 barrels, or 21,000 gallons, of produced water from a gathering pipeline about 11 miles northwest of Arnegard, the state Department of Health said.

About 30 barrels or 1,260 gallons of brine, which is a waste byproduct of oil and gas development, reached an unnamed tributary of Timber Creek, said Bill Suess, spill investigation program manager.

Field personnel discovered the spill about 4:15 p.m. Tuesday and immediately stopped the leak and notified regulators, Oasis said in a statement.

Crews have been monitoring the waterway, excavating contaminated soil and developing a remediation plan, the company said.

The health department attributed the leak to a faulty gasket. Oasis also is investigating the cause of the incident.

Officials responded to a spill at the same location in October 2014 that involved the release of 1,000 barrels, or 42,000 gallons, of brine, according to a spill report.

“It’s a very similar incident,” Suess said.

The North Dakota Oil and Gas Division and health officials have been on site and are monitoring the investigation and cleanup.