December 3, 2010

Spill cleanup satisfies Health Department

Spill cleanup satisfies Health Department
Whiting secures well, contains all fluid on site
By MARVIN BAKER
EDITOR

A North Dakota Department of Health official who investigated the Nov. 20 fluid spill at an oil well site north of New Town, said he is satisfied that Whiting Petroleum Corp. has secured and cleaned the site properly.
Dennis Fewless, a water quality specialist with the environmental health section of the Health Department, said primary and secondary dikes around the site in the hours after a mechanical failure caused a rupture, secured the liquid fracturing fluid as it bubbled back to the surface.
“What little escaped was contained on site,” Fewless said. “A small amount of liquid froze in the draw and that will be pumped out.”
Passersby on N.D. Highway 1804 were concerned there may have been some leakage into Lake Sakakawea since the well, known as Roggenbuck 14-25H, was alongside the river bank and beside the highway, 8 miles northwest of New Town.
Fewless reassured the public there was no danger of the fluid, known to contain a number of chemicals, draining down into the lake. He said quickly he was very comfortable in the dikes that were built to contain the fluid.
 


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