Floodwaters lead to small oil spill into North Dakota river

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Floodwaters caused a small oil spill into the Yellowstone River in northwestern North Dakota.

State environmental scientist Bill Suess (sees) tells The Bismarck Tribune that the amount is estimated to be no more than 1 barrel, or 42 gallons. The oil originated from a small spill on a Whiting Petroleum well pad in McKenzie County. Whiting spokeswoman Ashley McNamee says affected soil hadn’t been fully cleaned up before floodwaters hit.

The original spill was contained to the well pad and was less than 10 barrels, so it wasn’t required to be reported. State regulations do require all spills to be cleaned up, though there is no set timeframe required. Suess says Whiting still could be fined.