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Health department responds to multiple spills

BISMARCK — A vehicle accident, a cow rubbing against a valve and leaking pipe connections contributed to several unrelated oil and gas spills this week in western North Dakota, the Department of Health said Thursday.

On Monday, about 2 gallons of crude oil and 100 gallons of diesel fuel were released as a result of a vehicle accident. The driver of a semi owned by Triple C Services pulled over to the side of the road during heavy rain and hit a soft shoulder. The trailer and the tractor slid off the road, spilling liquids into a slough. A response team was called to work on the site. The location of the accident was not immediately released.

On Tuesday, about 20 barrels, or 840 gallons, of natural gas condensate were released near Sully Creek, a tributary of the Little Missouri River near Medora. A cow is suspected of having rubbed against a valve on a storage tank at a site owned by OneOK Rockies Midstream and the valve was accidentally opened. Cleanup of the area has begun and containment booms have been put in place as a precaution.

Two other spills that occurred Tuesday involved produced water, also known as brine, a byproduct of oil production.

In one incident, a valve or piping connection leaked about 200 barrels, or 8,400 gallons, of brine from a Crescent Point Energy well two miles west of Wildrose in Williams County. The spill affected cultivated land. About 80 barrels, or 3,360 gallons, have been recovered.

The second brine spill occurred at a well site owned by Samson Resources Co. six miles southwest of Crosby in Divide County. A leak in a valve or piping connection caused brine to spray. About 410 barrels, or 17,220 gallons, were contained on the site and 15 barrels, or 630 gallons, escaped onto cultivated land.

In both of the brine spills, the impacted soil will be removed to a licensed disposal facility.

Health department inspectors are monitoring the cleanup efforts.