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XTO Energy investigates cause of pipeline spill

Amy Dalrymple / Bismarck Tribune

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BISMARCK — XTO Energy is working to determine the cause of a pipeline leak that spilled 1,900 barrels, or 79,800 gallons, of brine in a Dunn County pasture, the Bismarck Tribune reported .

XTO Energy discovered the spill on April 24 in a 3-inch produced water pipeline the company owns, said Todd Spitler, a spokesman for ExxonMobil, the parent company of XTO.

The pipeline was immediately shut down and the leak was isolated, Spitler said.

The company reported the spill to the Department of Environmental Quality on April 26 and reported the spill volume was unknown.

On Monday, May 6, XTO provided an update to regulators with the spill volume estimate.

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Spitler said the company is gathering data to identify the cause of the leak.

Bill Suess, spill investigation program manager for the Department of Environmental Quality, said the leak is believed to have been caused by the installation of an electrical line that intersects the pipeline.

XTO is listed as the responsible party on a spill report submitted to regulators.

It has not affected any surface water sources, but it is unknown whether groundwater was affected, Suess said.

Cleanup is underway. XTO is working with the landowner and regulators on remediation, Spitler said.

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