A faulty valve led to the release of 345 barrels of oil at the Scanlan 42-9 central tank battery on Monday, at an oil well site 13 miles south of Epping.
The site is owned by Whiting Oil and Gas. It is a relatively new oil well that went into operation six months ago.
The leak was fully contained, regulators with the Oil and Gas Division said, and a cleanup crew was already on site Tuesday, vacuuming up the released oil. Company officials suggested it would be cleaned up by that night.
A state inspector has been to the location, and is to monitor the cleanup, regulators said.
Ashlee McNamee, a spokeswoman for Whiting Oil and Gas, said that all of the oil and gas was recoverable. It never left primary containment, so it didn’t get on any soil or gravel.
“Nothing left the pad, that is the big thing,” McNamee said. “The pad is reinforced with steel walls and an impermeable lining, so any oil that leaked was captured and has been cleaned up.”
The recovered oil and gas will be put back into the production system, McNamee indicated.
The failure itself was somewhat unusual, however, and is prompting a review of other oil well sites.
“The threads in the valve came part,” McNamee said. “That’s not common, so we are checking into our other pads with a similar situation, to make sure they are not susceptible to the same incidence.”
Whiting is one of the largest independent exploration and production companies in the United states, and controls one of the largest acreage positions in the Bakken/Three Forks shale play.
They are operating a net 409,593 acres in the core of the Williston Basin, and have consistently been one of the state’s top oil producers. They are producing an average 103,480 BOE/d in the Bakken.
While the company sold 29,637 net operating acres it had in Fort Berthold, it followed that up with the purchase of an additional 54,833 net operating acres in the Williston Basin. The properties are called the East Missouri Breaks and Hidden Bench areas. They are contiguous with the company’s existing core acreage in the western Williston Basin.
The new acquisition was already producing 1,290 BOE/d at the time it was purchased.
The company also has 99,194 net acres in the DJ Basin in Colorado.