Byproduct of fracking spilled in North Dakota

State reports more than 4,000 barrels of produced water spilled.

By Daniel J. Graeber

BISMARCK, N.D., Aug. 7 (UPI) -- The North Dakota Department of Health reported more than 4,000 barrels of a product associated with hydraulic fracturing spilled near the Canadian border.

The state said it was notified by Samson Resources of a spill of brine in Divide County, situated in the northwest of North Dakota at the Canadian border. Of the 4,260 barrels spilled, the Department of Health reported 225 barrels were recovered.


No surface waters were impacted.

The brine release is at least the sixth such incident reported this year. In May, Oasis Petroleum reported its fourth release of brine, known also as produced water, in the state.

Energy companies inject brine, or salt water, to improve oil and gas production from shale deposits. The Federal Environmental Protection Agency said brine may contain toxic metals and radioactive substances that can be "very damaging" to the environment and public health if released on the surface.

The State Health Department said its spill responders were on site observing the cleanup operation from the latest incident in Divide County. There was no statement on the incident from Samson.

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