Spill reported at site with history of spills
MAXBASS -- A company involved in a legal action with a Bottineau County landowner reported another spill Wednesday at the same saltwater disposal well with a history of spills.
MAXBASS - A company involved in a legal action with a Bottineau County landowner reported another spill Wednesday at the same saltwater disposal well with a history of spills.
Petro Harvester reported that a piping connection leak caused 285 barrels, or nearly 12,000 gallons, of brine to release from the Peterson 2 saltwater disposal well, said the North Dakota Oil and Gas Division.
The well, about six miles north of Maxbass, is on property owned by Daryl Peterson, who has long complained that brine spills involving that same location have not been properly cleaned up.
“It’s frustrating and disappointing,” Derrick Braaten, a Bismarck attorney representing Peterson, said of the latest spill.
Peterson, seeking to have his land fully restored, has filed an administrative action against Petro Harvester and other companies. He claims that continued leaks and spills have led to severe contamination of nearby farmland and attempts to clean it up have been inadequate. Hearings are scheduled to begin in June.
The latest spill occurred Tuesday afternoon and was reported to state authorities Wednesday morning, a spill report shows. A Petro Harvester spokesman said in a statement the company initiated cleanup within 90 minutes of discovering the spill and has successfully vacuumed up the brine. The cause of the hose leak is under investigation, the company said.
An Oil and Gas Division inspector had been to the location, the department said.
Petro Harvester and the Oil and Gas Division said the spill was contained within the dikes of the well site. Braaten said it appeared from photos Peterson took that most of the spill was contained but some may have left the location.
Peterson’s legal action also names companies Sagebrush Resource and Ballantyne Oil, previous owners of the well.
Brine is an unwanted byproduct of oil production and is considered an environmental hazard by the state. It is many times saltier than seawater and can easily kill vegetation exposed to it.