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Fires, Spill Mar Weekend in North Dakota's Bakken

No injuries or environmental disasters resulted last weekend as North Dakota's Bakken was hit by two wellsite fires, and a separate saltwater release northeast of the city of Williston, ND. The state Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) dispatched inspectors to the scene of each incident.

All of the incidents were reported to DMR last Saturday, according to a spokesperson at the state agency, which oversees oil/gas activities throughout the Williston Basin.

Marathon Oil Co. reported the first incident -- a fire at the Darvey Klatt 44-22H well, located about five miles north of Killdeer, ND, in Dunn County, the heart of Bakken Shale oil production. Marathon estimated that about 247 bbl of crude was released and burned in the subsequent fire at the wellsite.

A second fire broke out later at Tervita LLC's CCS midstream treatment plant No. 1 near Alexander, ND, in McKenzie County. DMR reported that Tervita estimated 2,000 bbl of crude was released and the company was able to recover about 100 bbl, with the rest consumed in the fire.

In addition, an estimated 1,200 bbl of additional fluid was released and contained onsite, and about 1,000 bbl of that was recovered DMR said. "The additional fluid was believed to be water and fire retardant foam used to fight the fire," said the DMR spokesperson.

DMR oil/gas division personnel worked with county fire department officials in each respective county to determine the cause of each fire, the spokesperson said. A state inspector has been dispatched to each incident site and will monitor the final cleanup activities.

The third incident, also on Saturday, involved Missouri Basin Well Service Inc., whose representatives have estimated a 300 bbl release of saltwater was contained at Hiepler 1 SWD wellsite about eight miles northeast of Williston. As of Monday afternoon, the company estimated that there was still 55 bbl of saltwater to be recovered.

The saltwater mishap was blamed on a hose failure.

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