Oil cleanup continuesCleanup of an oil leak near Dickinson continued as news of a similar spill near Ray spread Wednesday.
Cleanup of an oil leak near Dickinson continued as news of a similar spill near Ray spread Wednesday.
The Stark County incident occurred when a Halek Operating drilling pit overflowed about 6 miles southwest of Dickinson, officials said.
“Halek reported runoff from snowmelt overflowed the drilling pit and a sheen of oil on the drilling pit was carried with the runoff off the location, into a drainage and northeast toward a gravel road,” Cody Vanderbusch, reclamation specialist with the North Dakota Industrial Commission, said in an email.
A dike was built around the pit to prevent further leaking and about 200 barrels of water which had flowed off the site were recovered, he added.
“It will be 80 to 85 percent cleaned up this afternoon,” said Shane Herman, president of Enviro Shield Products, Inc., which is cleaning up the spill. Final cleanup will take place around the third weekend in May, when all the ponds have dried up, he added.
Clean water is running through the culverts at 39th Avenue and there shouldn’t be anymore issues of runoff from there, Herman said.
The company has nine barrels of cleanup and less than 20 barrels of oil will be recovered, he said.
Kostelecky said the incident does not pose health concerns.
“The biggest problem is right in the ditch there, just east of the well,” Kostelecky said. “There’s a whole lot of grass that was covered with crude that has to be cleaned up some how or another.”
The cleanup is taking longer than Kostelecky anticipated.
“I don’t want to let it sit too long and let it fester out there, either,” he said.
It’s unclear if the soil was contaminated but Kostelecky doesn’t expect much, if any, seepage into the ground.
“If it did penetrate the ground that would have to be dug out of there and replaced with different soil,” he said.
Bud Griffin, who owns the land the pit is on, is unsure if he’ll be able to graze cattle in the area.
“I hope they’re going to get it all cleaned up, but time will tell, I guess,” Griffin said.
Vanderbusch said NDIC and North Dakota Department of Health personnel have inspected the site and will continue to monitor cleanup.
A call to a Halek spokesperson was not immediately returned.
A similar oil spill reported near Ray on Tuesday afternoon caused oil to spread to the Ray Reservoir.
Hundreds of gallons of oil overflowed from a containment pit owned by Hess, officials said.
Williams County Emergency Services Director Mike Hallesy said as the snow melted, water filled the containment pit, causing it to overflow with oil. A work crew at the reservoir deployed booms to soak up the oil.
Drinking water shouldn’t be affected, but officials will likely conduct tests, Hallesy said.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.