December 20, 2012

Oil mist found on Lake Sakakawea

Oil mist found on Lake Sakakawea
Cleanup on Van Hook blowout proceeds
By Jerry W. Kram

Oil mist from a well blowout went further than first thought, weather conditions should prevent contamination of Lake Sakakawea.
The well was brought under control on Friday Dec. 14, according to Alison Ritter, a spokesperson for the North Dakota Industrial Commissions Oil and Gas Division. The well stopped flowing on its own that morning and the well was then capped. The clean up process began almost immediately. Ritter said the company has submitted an initial spill report and that 10 days after the cleanup is completed the company has to file a follow up report.
“The company is responsible for cleaning up any fluids that spilled on or off site,” Ritter said. “The Oil and Gas Division will work with state Health Department on the cleanup. The division monitors the cleanup on the well location and the Health Department monitors anything that got off location.”
Dean Griff, Chief of the Environmental Health Division of the North Dakota Department of Health, said his agency, along with the North Dakota Game and Fish Department and Army Corps of Engineers inspected the area on Dec. 18 to determine the extent of the oil contaminated area.
“There were two areas of contamination,” Griff said. “There was a small area of salt water contamation and further out there was oil contamination. They are looking at ways of determining the extent of the contamination and how to clean it up. Some of the oil got out on the ice on Lake Sakakawea. The good thing is that it is on the ice and it was captured in the snow on top of the ice.”


The Weather Network