Pipeline photo

Oasis Petroleum is proposing four 5.5-mile pipelines near Williston, with a bit more than half a mile set to go under the river.

Oasis Petroleum and Iron Oil each have projects that fall under federal oversight and will require Environmental Assessments examining compliance with federal regulations such as the National Environmental Protection Act.

Both oilfield companies have opened public comment periods for the projects as their consultants work on developing the required Environmental Assessments.

Here’s a rundown of each project, as well as information on how to send relevant concerns about the projects to the companies.

Iron Oil’s Eightmile 33-28 project

An Environmental Assessment is required for this project in Williams County, located just a few miles southwest of Williston, in an area where the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers retains easements to flood privately owned land as necessary for the operation and maintenance of Garrison Dam and Lake Sakakawea.

The exact location of the drilling spacing units are Sections 33 and 28, Township (T) 153 North (N) Range(R) 102 West (W). The well pads would be in Section 1 of T152N, R103W.

Two well pads with up to six horizontal wells per pad would be constructed. Each well head would be spaced 50 feet apart, in compliance with North Dakota Industrial Commission rules.

The horizontal wells would be drilled 10,400 feet below ground surface in a northerly direction. The site would also include utilities such as electrical lines, fiber optic lines, gas, oil, freshwater, and saltwater pipelines.

The company estimates about 23 acres would be disturbed, 11.3 Acres for one well pad and 11.2 for the other, as well as .5 acres for new and upgraded access roads.

Produced oil and saltwater would be stored on site in steel or fiberglass tanks within a berm of impermeable material to provide emergency containment in the event of a leak. These fluids would initially be transported from the tank battery by truck. Once production volumes are established, however, pipelines would be built to transport the fluids.

There is an existing saltwater well 2 miles west of the nearest well pad. Once produced volumes are known, a saltwater pipeline to that well would be installed in a 500-foot wide corridor centered on 42nd St. Northwest, which would require a 30-foot construction right of way to install and involve 9.9 acres of temporary surface disturbance.

Construction and drilling for the wells would use standard methods and follow all regulatory requirements. Best Management Practices would also be followed to mitigate risks, including Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) coupled with automatic and remote shut-down devices, and various other measures designed to ensure safety.

The US Army Corps of Engineers will independently evaluate and verify the information and analysis the company is providing in its Environmental Assessment of the project, and will make the final determination regarding the proposed project’s compliance with the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA). Comments about the project are being requested by Wenck andAssociates as it prepares the project’s Environmental Assessment for the Corps.

The deadline is Oct. 25. There are three ways to send comments.

1. Send a letter:

Sara Simmers, Wenck Associates Inc., 201 First Street Northeast, Suite 202, Mandan, North Dakota 58554

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, ATTN OD-TN Patric Atwell, 1616 Capitol Avenue, Omaha, Nebraska 68102

2. Send an email:

Sara Simmers at ssimmers@wenck.com

3. Telephone call:

Sara Simmers, Wenck Associates, 701-751-6128

Patrick Atwell, USACE-Omaha District, 402-995-2087

Oasis Petroleum pipelines

This project would involve construction of 4 pipelines 5.5 miles in length in Williams and McKenzie counties, about .6 miles of which are under the river.

The project is in the same general vicinity as the Iron Oil project and as such would cross privately held lands for which the U.S. Army Corps retains easements for the operation of Garrison Dam and Lake Sakakawea.

To minimize environmental impacts, the four pipelines will be co-located with existing infrastructure for 62 percent of their route.

Each pipeline will carry a different fluid. One is for oil, one for natural gas, one for produced water, and one for fresh water.

The pipelines will be constructed with the open trench method, except for the portion under the river bed, which will be constructed using horizontal drilling.

Each pipeline will include leak detection technology. Each one can also be physically isolated if pipeline integrity is compromised.

The company will also submit detailed plans for emergency spill response, geographical response, operation and maintenance, and risk assessment for the four pipelines.

Oasis is contracting with E3 Environmental to assist in preparation of the Environmental Assessment for the Corps of Engineers.

As noted in the Iron Oil project, the Corps retains the ultimate authority to evaluate the data provided in the Environmental Assessment and to make the final determination about whether the project complies with all requirements.

To be included in the Environmental Assessment, comments need to be received by Oct. 28.

There are three ways to provide these comments to the consultants preparing the study.

1. Send a letter to:

Katie Schmidt, Sr. Consultant, E3 Environmental, 871 Jefferson Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55102

Johnathan Shelman, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, CENWO-PMA-C, 1616 Capitol Ave. Omaha, NE 68102

2. Send an email to:

Katie Schmidt, kschmidt@go2e3.com

3. Telephone call to:

Katie Schmidt, E3 Environmental, 651-282-0652

John Shelman, USACE-Omaha, 402-995-2708

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