Oil spill blackens portion of Fort Peck Reservation
Published one year ago by The Billings Gazette

This Environmental Protection Agency photo shows the wellhead where the leak occurred, spilling oil and brine into a coulee and nearby stock pond over several months this winter.

The oil well is owned by Anadarko, a Texas-based oil and gas company.

A contractor has started cleaning up an estimated 600 barrels of crude oil and 90,000 barrels of brine that slowly leaked from a faulty wellhead this winter northeast of Glasgow on the Fort Peck Reservation. The leaked mixture flowed downhill for about a third of a mile and into a stock pond.

There are no known effects to downstream water users from the spill, according to the Environmental Protection Agency’s website. Water and soil samples have been collected for analysis.

The well is owned by Anadarko Minerals Inc., an Oklahoma oil and gas exploration company, which has 30 other wells in the state. The EPA is overseeing the cleanup, which occurred in a remote area about eight miles west of the small community of Lustre. A landowner flying his plane over the well noticed the leak on April 27. EPA officials were notified April 30.

The well had been shut down and was last inspected in December. It’s believed that the wellhead froze and cracked in what was a brutally cold winter in the region.

“It’s the company ...

Added: one year ago