January 17, 2013

Well fire sends cloud over prairie

Well fire sends cloud over prairie

By Jerry W. Kram

Tuesday morning was a busy one for Tom DeGroot. The new chief of the New Town Volunteer Fire Department got to put out his first oil well fire.
According to DeGroot, around 10 a.m. a “treater” on an oil well site near the corner of 42nd Street N and 87 ½ Ave. N, about three miles north of New Town and two miles east of North Dakota Highway 1804, caught fire. DeGroot said he didn’t know what started the blaze. There were no injuries from the incident.
“It was a good way to get your Tuesday started,” De Groot said. “It was a scary fire. There was the potential for a lot of danger there.”
The well is owned by Whiting Petroleum. Jack Ekstrom, vice president of corporate and government relations, said the company was investigating the fire but also hadn’t discovered the cause yet.
“It was a small fire by our standards,” Ekstrom said. “But there were no injuries. I understand that the damage was limited to a couple of oil treaters. We don’t know exactly why it happened. We do know that guys across the road saw the fire and called it in.”


The Weather Network