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Bakken Oil Fields
Bakken Formation: News, Map, Videos and Information Sources geology.com
“..The Bakken Formation is one of the largest contiguous deposits of oil and natural gas in the United States. It is an interbedded sequence of black shale, siltstone and sandstone that underlies large areas of northwestern North Dakota, northeastern Montana, southern Saskatchewan and southwestern Manitoba. ..”
A Brief History of North Dakota Oil Production northdakotaoil.wordpress.com
In North Dakota’s Bakken oil boom, there will be blood By Jennifer Gollan / June 13, 2015 revealnews.org
“…Brendan Wegner, 21, had been scrambling down a derrick ladder when the well exploded, consuming him in a fiery tornado of oil and petroleum vapors. Rescuers found his body pinned under a heap of twisted steel pipes melted by the inferno. His charred hands were recovered later, still gripping the derrick ladder. It was his first day on the rig.
Hardy died the next day of his burns. Twinn had his lower legs amputated. Dogged by post-traumatic stress disorder, he killed himself in October 2013. Each left behind three children. Hysjulien suffered debilitating third-degree burns over half of his body. He is the lone survivor.
To this day, the explosion – pieced together from interviews, court documents and federal and local reports – remains the worst accident in the expansive Bakken oil fields since the boom began in 2006…”
Saltwater Spill in Bear Den Bay
July 11, 2014
By Ali Guio mss-lawfirm.com
“..Over the Fourth of July weekend, a pipe carrying saltwater (also called “brine”) separated near North Dakota’s badlands and spilled an estimated one million gallons of the oil and gas production byproduct. Brine is ten to thirty times saltier than seawater. The saltwater spill extended nearly two miles down a steep ravine and left a swath of dead vegetation in its path. The polluted ravine flows into Bear Den Bay, which is a tributary to man-made Lake Sakakawea. Lake Sakakawea provides drinking water to the nearby Fort Berthold Indian Reservation. The natural resources administrator for the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara tribes expressed concern that because the spill occurred at the top of a craggy bluff, the terrain would hinder efforts preserve the Reservation’s drinking water supply. An investigation Thursday by the Environmental Protection Agency revealed that the saltwater reached Bear Den Bay, but that most of the spill was pooled into the ground or held behind beaver dams. The pipeline in question was not equipped with a monitor that would have alerted the company to the spill before this large amount of brine had escaped. The spill was discovered when the company noticed a discrepancy in production loss reports and investigated. ..”
Did the N Dakota Pipeline Poisoned Drinking Water?
“..Published on Jan 27, 2015
Tyson Slocum, Public Citizen’s Energy Program, joins Thom. Residents of North Dakota are dealing with a toxic spill of brine – an oil and gas production byproduct – while more news is coming out about a massive oil spill in the Yellowstone River. How much damage are these spills doing to our environment – and why aren’t we moving beyond fossil fuels?
Persistent Water and Soil Contamination Found at N.D. Wastewater Spills
By Zahra Hirji
May 5, 2016 dailyyonder.com
“..The results “indicate that the water contamination from brine spills is remarkably persistent in the environment,” Duke scientists wrote in their study published last week in the journal Environmental Science & Technology. The contamination included high levels of selenium, known to be toxic to fish and wildlife, and radioactive radium…
More than 4,000 spills have occurred in North Dakota since 2001, state records show. While many of these spills involve small amounts of wastewater, an investigation by Inside Energy last year showed these spills are increasing in size and frequency. In a move to curb these spills, state regulators are drafting new stricter construction and monitoring requirements for wastewater pipelines…
Two of the largest spills were the subject of the recent study. The biggest was discovered in January 2015 when a pipeline sprung a leak in the northwestern corner of the state near the town of Williston. Approximately 3 million gallons of wastewater was released, contaminating at least two waterways, including Blacktail Creek. (This same pipeline leaked againearlier this year close to the previous spill site.) In July 2014, about a million gallons of wastewater spilled out of a different pipeline in western North Dakota. Called the Bear Den Bay spill, it occurred in the Fort Berthold Reservation and impacted a tributary of Lake Sakakawea..”
Some water samples had metal concentrations exceeding federal environmental and drinking water regulations. Selenium levels at most spill sites were 35 times higher than those recommended for freshwater aquatic life. And the radium levels observed were 10 to 100 times higher than the levels found at non-spill sites, with the potential to linger in the soil for centuries…”
*see Environment: Clean Water Rights? goodnewseverybodycom.wordpress.com
(Health: Effects from Water Contaminated by Oil Spills goodnewshealthandfitness.wordpress.com)
Potential Health and Environmental Effects of Hydrofracking in the Williston Basin, Montana -Author: Joe HoffmanHow to Teach Controversial Topics » serc.carleton.edu
“…Health Effects of Fracking:
A 2011 article in the journal, Human and Ecological Risk Assessment, examined the potential health impacts of oil and gas drilling in relation to the chemicals used during drilling, fracking, processing,and delivery of natural gas. The paper compiled a list of 632 chemicals (an incomplete list due to trade secrecy exemptions) identified from drilling operations throughout the U.S. Their research found that 75% of the chemicals could affect the skin, eyes,and other sensory organs, and the respiratory and gastrointestinal systems. Approximately 40–50% could affect the brain/nervous system, immune and cardiovascular systems, and the kidneys; 37% could affect the endocrine system; and 25% could cause cancer and mutations.
Health impacts from fracking are only now being examined by health experts, since such large-scale drilling is a recent phenomenon. Exposure to toxic chemicals even at low levels can cause tremendous harm to humans; the endocrine system is sensitive to chemical exposures measuring in parts-per-billions, or less. Nevertheless, many of the health risks from the toxins used during the fracking process do not express themselves immediately, and require studies looking into long-term health effects.
Despite the complexities of the on-site mixtures of chemicals and their specific contributions to health and environmental problems involved in fracking–conventional drilling practices are more old school and do have known health consequences. Researchers at the Colorado School of Public Health, University of Colorado, analyzed existing research of exposure to conventional petroleum hydrocarbons in occupational settings, and residences near refineries, in conjunction with known pollutants associated with fracking (nonconventional), in order to assess health risks to those residents living near fracking operations. Their basic conclusions were: the closer you live to drilling operations, the greater your health risk. Sounds obvious, but if you were to sue an oil company for the suspected killing a loved one via cancer, you would need a little more legal ammunition than “it just makes common sense” against an army of corporate lawyers.
In North Dakota and Nationwide, A Boom in Health Problems Accompanies Fracking By Nicholas Kusnetz May 21, 2012 archive.onearth.org
“..Although a handful of North Dakota residents have complained about odors or health effects from drilling near their homes, the Schilkes are the first in the region to report such widespread and sustained health problems. But while their symptoms may be new to North Dakota, they mirror those reported in recent years in gas fields from the Rockies to the Appalachians. Residents of several states have experienced a suite of symptoms — including rashes, congestion, dizziness, nausea, and even cancer — that they say began when drilling and fracking came to their neighborhoods…”
North Dakota Spill Leaks 120,000 Gallons of Oil & Wastewater By James Burgess – May 23, 2016, 11:08 AM CDT oilprice.com
“…Health investigators continue to monitor the spill, which Denbury believes was ultimately caused by a power outage that led to sensor failure.
Huge vacuums were being used to suck up the spilled waste from the pastureland and then crews were forced to dig around 18 inches into the ground to remove the contaminated layer of pastureland
Oil Pipeline Shut Down After Spill, Just 200 Miles From Standing Rock Energy| Dec. 06, 2016 06:05PM EST Dan Zukowski ecowatch.com
“..A six-inch crude oil pipeline operated by Belle Fourche Pipeline Company in western North Dakota was shut down following discovery of a leak on Monday. The amount of the spill was not immediately known, but oil has leaked into the Ash Coulee Creek in Billings County.
The site of the spill is about 200 miles from the camp where members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and their supporters have been protesting the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
*see Now you Know: History of Oil Spills goodnewseverybodycom.wordpress.com
North Dakota oil spill 3 times larger than first estimated
BLAKE NICHOLSON,Associated Press 5 hours ago (Friday, March 24th 2017) yahoo.com
“BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A December oil pipeline spill in western North Dakota might have been three times larger than first estimated and among the biggest in state history, a state environmental expert said Friday.
About 530,000 gallons of oil is now believed to have spilled from the Belle Fourche Pipeline that was likely ruptured by a slumping hillside about 16 miles northwest of Belfield in Billings County, Health Department environmental scientist Bill Seuss said. The earlier estimate was about 176,000 gallons.
No decision has been made on any fines against Wyoming-based True Cos., which operates the pipeline. The company says it is committed to cleaning up the spill and that the job is about 80 percent done.
“There’s no timeline for completion, spokeswoman Wendy Owen said. “We will be there until it is” done.
A company’s efforts to clean up after an oil spill are a large factor in how much of a fine is levied, according to Seuss.
“We tend to hold off on those. It’s kind of a motivator,” he said.
The largest oil pipeline spill in North Dakota was 840,000 gallons, in a wheat field near Tioga in September 2013.
In the December spill, an unknown amount of oil flowed into Ash Coulee Creek, which feeds into the Little Missouri River, a tributary of the Missouri River. Seuss said no oil made it into those rivers or into any drinking water source, but that the focus is on cleaning up the creek before spring grazing season, since cattle drink from the waterway.
There have been no confirmed cases of livestock or wildlife deaths related to the spill. One rancher reported some cattle deaths but refused to allow the state veterinarian to do a necropsy, according to Seuss. Cleanup crews also found a dead beaver, but it’s not known what caused the death.
The pipeline had been leaking since being restarted Dec. 1 following routine maintenance, Seuss said. A landowner discovered the spill on Dec. 5.
There is still oil seeping out of the hillside but it’s being contained. Soil remediation work could take “a year or more,” Seuss said.”
In North Dakota and Nationwide, A Boom in Health Problems Accompanies Fracking By Nicholas Kusnetz
May 21, 2012 archive.onearth.org
“..Schilke lost 25 pounds in the summer of 2009 and started having trouble breathing. She had constant diarrhea and would get lightheaded. Her husband Steve’s asthma worsened, frequently leaving him tired and short of breath. The couple began getting unusual muscle aches. The following winter, Jacki got another rash, a quarter-sized spot on her leg that wouldn’t go away. She visited a neurologist who couldn’t explain what was happening. She noticed an ammonia-like smell in the house and started looking for a source, thinking that might be what was making them sick. “Hell, I hauled shit out of here by truckloads,” Jacki says. “I threw everything away. There wasn’t even a bottle of cleaner left in this house.”..”
News Releases – North Dakota Department of Health health.nd.gov
Truck Accident Causes Produced Water Spill in Dunn County (12/5/2016)
The North Dakota Department of Health (NDDoH) has been notified of a produced water spill resulting from a truck accident in Dunn County. Produced water is a by-product of oil and gas development. The spill occurred Friday, Dec. 2, approximately 6 miles north of Killdeer and was reported by Creek Energy Services on Saturday, Dec. 3.
Oil Spill in Billings County (12/5/2016)
The North Dakota Department of Health (NDDoH) was notified today of an oil spill resulting from a pipeline leak. The location is in Billings County approximately 16 miles northwest of Belfield. The 6-inch in diameter pipeline is operated by Belle Fourche Pipeline.
Source Water Spill Reported in Bowman County (12/2/2016)
The North Dakota Department of Health (NDDoH) has been notified that a 2,000-barrel source water spill occurred approximately 12 miles southwest of Rhame in Bowman County. Source water is used for enhanced oil recovery and is higher in dissolved solids and minerals than fresh water, but does not carry the same environmental implications as produced water. The well is owned by Denbury Onshore.
Environmental Incident Reports ndhealth.gov
Spill Tracker, May 20, 2015 The Editors nrdc.org
An explosion in North American fossil fuel extraction has led to a dangerous rise in pipeline spills and oil train derailments.
Company: Equipment didn’t detect North Dakota oil leak Associated Press Associated Press By JAMES MacPHERSON, Associated Press msn.com 2 hrs ago (Monday, December 12th 2016)
“..BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Electronic monitoring equipment failed to detect a pipeline rupture that spewed more than 176,000 gallons of crude oil into a North Dakota creek, the pipeline’s operator said Monday.
It’s not yet clear why the monitoring equipment didn’t detect the leak, Wendy Owen, a spokeswoman for Casper, Wyoming-based True Cos., which operates the Belle Fourche Pipeline, said.
A landowner discovered the spill near Belfield on Dec. 5, according to Bill Suess, an environmental scientist with the North Dakota Health Department.
Suess said the spill migrated about almost 6 miles from the spill site along Ash Coulee Creek, and it fouled an unknown amount of private and U.S. Forest Service land along the waterway. The creek feeds into the Little Missouri River, but Seuss said it appears no oil got that far and that no drinking water sources were threatened. The creek was free-flowing when the spill occurred but has since frozen over…”
Tesoro Pipeline Spill: Leak Detection and Public Notification — Two System Failures?
Lawmakers Move to Regulate Pipelines, After a Record Spill in a Drilling Boom
By Zahra Hirji, InsideClimate News Mar 11, 2015
North Dakota has 20,000 miles of largely unregulated ‘gathering lines,’ and that number is expected to increase by around 60% over the next five years.
“..In North Dakota, the number of drilling-related spills occurring annually has steadily increased in recent years, according to an analysis by Inside Energy, a news site. In 2010, there were about 1,000 spills reported. In 2013, there were around twice as many reported.
Since the start of the year, there have been six large spills in North Dakota: five dumped at least 450 gallons of fracking byproduct, and one spilled nearly 500 gallons of oil, according to the state’s online spill databases.
Among those accidents was the largest wastewater spill in North Dakota since the fracking boom kicked off in the early 2000s. On Jan. 6, the spill near Williston was discovered by an employee of the pipeline’s operator, Meadowlark Midstream Company, LLC. Some 2.2 million gallons gushed through a hole 2 inches in diameter––the width of two quarters side-by-side.
Water sampling shows the spill affected at least two local waterways in the Missouri River watershed—Blacktail Creek and Little Muddy River—as well as groundwater around the rupture site. Officials say the spill doesn’t pose a health threat—and that no water wells have been impacted. The pipeline in question measures 4 inches in diameter and is made of a composite material called Fiberspar.
The pipe was immediately shut off after the leak was discovered. The ruptured section of the pipe has been replaced but the line remains shut off. The cause of the spill is still being investigated. According to local news organization Inforum, the pipeline was outfitted with equipment to allow remote monitoring, but the company wasn’t using the technology. Instead, workers checked for leaks using handheld devices.
The wastewater comes from deep underground. When a well is first tapped, flowback, a mix of the slurry cocktail used to blast open the rock and minimal amounts of produced water, comes back up. Once oil and gas start to flow out, produced water continues to gush up for months.
Oil Companies Running N. Dakota
Oil companies dumping radioactive waste in ND The Rachel Maddow Show 3/12/14 msnbc.com
Oil Companies Dumping Radioactive Waste in North Dakota – The Rachel Maddow Show
Over Residents’ Objections, North Dakota Lets Oil Companies Dump Radioactive Waste August 10, 2016 governing.com
“..Despite some very emotional testimony, calls of “Why aren’t you listening to us?” along with scientific input, the council voted unanimously on Tuesday to ratify the new rules allowing up to 50 picocuries of radioactive waste from oil and gas production in specially permitted landfills.
After the vote, the council’s attorney said it will ask a district court judge for a summary judgment to end the lawsuit filed by the Dakota Resource Council and the North Dakota Energy Industry Waste Coalition. The suit challenges any actions stemming from the original, illegal meeting.
Assistant attorney Jeff Erickson said the request for a summary judgment would be based on the fact that, by replaying and ratifying the entire agenda from last August, “everything that would have happened has happened.”
The groups’ attorney, Sarah Vogel, said she intends to continue the suit. The Health Council scheduled Tuesday’s do-over after the district court threw out its earlier request to have the case dismissed.
North Dakota: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)
“Published on Oct 11, 2015
North Dakota is known for being polite, but perhaps they’ve been a little too hospitable to oil companies.
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Massive 2013 oil spill in North Dakota still not cleaned up by James MacPherson | AP
December 18 at 11:16 AM
“..North Dakota regulators initially thought just 750 barrels of oil was involved in the spill, but later updated the amount exponentially. They also expanded the affected acreage from about 7 — the size of seven football fields — to about 13 acres, Suess said. The cleanup has cost Tesoro more than $49 million to date and is expected to top $60 million, according to recent filings to the state…”