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Cleanup begins after crews gain control of ND oil well

PARSHALL -- Cleanup began Friday after crews regained control of an oil well near Parshall about 5 a.m. Friday after the well stopped flowing, said the state Department of Mineral Resources.

Officials with the Department of Mineral Resources will monitor the cleanup effort and require a follow-up spill report within 10 days after the cleanup is complete, said spokeswoman Alison Ritter.

Initial cleanup efforts focused on the field north of the well, the area most heavily affected by a mist of oil that sprayed from the well starting Wednesday evening, said Kris Roberts, environmental geologist with the North Department of Health who also monitored the cleanup.

Crews also are removing oil from the well pad, Roberts said. The waste will be transported to a special oilfield waste landfill near Sawyer, Roberts said.

Lake Sakakwea, less than a mile south of the well, was not threatened, Roberts said.

The well is operated by Slawson Exploration Co.

A workover rig crew lost control of the well Wednesday evening after equipment malfunctioned, a spokesman for Slawson Exploration said. A specialized crew from Houston flew to North Dakota to regain control of the well.

The cause of the malfunction is under investigation.