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Lightning strike causes oil, salt water spill

ROSS -- A lightning strike at 4:30 a.m. Friday caused 580 barrels of oil and 1,800 barrels of salt water to be released near Ross in Mountrail County, according to the North Dakota Oil and Gas Division.

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The strike at a salt water disposal well caused a still-smoldering fire, which burnt up most of the oil. The excess oil and salt water has been “released and contained,” according to Department of Mineral Resources public information officer Alison Ritter.

Cleanup will begin after the fire is extinguished. Basic Energy Services, which reported the accident, will build a dike to prevent salt water runoff in case of rain.

A state inspector has been to the scene will monitor the clean-up, Ritter said in an email.