Leak reported by company fined for state’s largest oil spill

December 14, 2021 GMT

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The company responsible for the largest oil field spill in North Dakota history has reported a leak from a pipeline within two miles of the record discharge in 2015, state officials said Tuesday.

The latest spill from a Summit Midstream Partners pipeline leaked saltwater onto agricultural land “very close to the creek” contaminated by the record spill reported north of Williston, said Bill Suess, spill investigation program manager with the North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality.

The pipeline company and the state are monitoring the waterway known as Blacktail Creek and said there were no signs that the saltwater had reached it as of Tuesday morning, Suess said.

Summit notified the state on Dec. 5 of the spill that was originally estimated at 420 gallons and has since been revised to 7,400 gallons based on calculations from its pipeline leak detection system. Summit told the state that an equipment failure caused the latest spill, but no additional details were immediately available, The Bismarck Tribune reported.

The 2014 spill discharged more than 29 million gallons of drilling wastewater and contaminated more than 30 miles of Missouri River tributaries as well as land and groundwater. Summit has been ordered to pay $35 million in civil and criminal penalties.