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Nearly 59,000 gallons of brine spilled in western North Dakota

Almost all of the spill, which was reported by Whiting Oil and Gas and which followed delivery of the produced water to Goodnight Midstream Bakken, was contained to the well pad, according to an incident report filed to the state.

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An oil well pumps at sunrise in western North Dakota's Bakken Formation. Forum News Service file photo
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BISMARCK — Close to 59,000 gallons of highly concentrated salt water spilled 11 miles south of Stanley, North Dakota, on Thursday, Aug. 19, according to an incident report filed to the state last week.

Almost all of the spill, which was reported by Whiting Oil and Gas and followed delivery of the produced water to Goodnight Midstream Bakken, was contained to the well pad, according to the report.

Produced water, or brine, is a byproduct of fracking that is highly saturated with salt and can contain chemical fluids, hydrocarbons and other contaminants damaging to local ecology and agricultural land.

Whiting reported that 1,400 barrels, or 58,800 gallons, of produced water was released onto the site, and at the time of reporting 1,304 barrels had been recovered. The Denver-based company attributed the spill to "a broken fitting" between a transfer pump and pipeline.

A state inspector has visited the site, where cleanup is underway, and will monitor additional remediation, the North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources said in a news release about the spill on Monday.

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