A leak in a pipeline running from a treater to a produced water storage tank once thought to be 30 barrels is actually 850 barrels, officials said.

The leak caused a spill on a well pad located 10 miles northwest of Keene, North Dakota. The well is operated by Newfield Production Company. The company notified North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality (NDDEQ) of the spill.

The incident was originally reported on May 4 by Newfield as a 30-barrel spill that occurred on May 2. The cause of the spill was a leak in the 2-inch polyethylene pipeline. At that time Newfield estimated 30 barrels of produced water surfaced on the well pad and flowed off, impacting rangeland.

Subsequent investigation and production trend analysis now estimate that 850 barrels, or 35,700 gallons, of produced water may have been released.

Schneider Bold

Produced water, or brine, is a mixture of saltwater, oil and sometimes, drilling fluids, created as a byproduct of oil and gas production.

The spill had an impact on nearby farmland. Newfield Production, originally estimated 1,260 gallons of brine had spilled when it reported the incident to the state. Later investigation found the company had significantly underestimated the magnitude of the spill.

NDDEQ personnel have been inspecting the site and will continue to monitor the investigation and remediation.

ISSSource

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