Nearly 1 Million Gallons of Fracked Oil Spilled in North Dakota

Search form

Nearly 1 Million Gallons of Fracked Oil Spilled in North Dakota

Nearly 1 Million Gallons of Fracked Oil Spilled in North Dakota
Mon, 10/14/2013 - by Steve Horn
This article originally appeared on DeSmogBlog

Over 20,600 barrels of oil fracked from the Bakken Shale has spilled from a Tesoro Logistics pipeline in Tioga, North Dakota in one of the biggest onshore oil spills in recent U.S. history.

Though the spill occurred on September 29, the U.S. National Response Center - tasked with responding to chemical and oil spills - did not make the report available until October 8 due to the ongoing government shutdown.

"The center generally makes such reports available on its website within 24 hours of their filing, but services were interrupted last week because of the U.S. government shutdown," explained Reuters.

The "Incident Summaries" portion of the National Response Center's website is currently down, and the homepage notes, "Due to [the] government shutdown, some services may not be available."

At more than 20,600 barrels - equivalent to 865,200 gallons - the spill was bigger than the April 2013 ExxonMobil Pegasus pipeline spill, which spewed 5,000-7,000 barrels of tar sands bitumen into a residential neighborhood in Mayflower, Arkansas.

So far, only 1,285 barrels have been recovered in North Dakota, and the oil is spread out over a 7.3 acre land mass.

Kris Roberts, environmental geologist for the North Dakota Department of Health Division of Water Quality told the Williston Herald, "the leak was caused by a hole that deteriorated in the side of the pipe."

“No water, surface water or ground water was impacted,” he said. “They installed monitoring wells to ensure there is no impact now or that there is going to be one.”

Roberts also told the Herald he was impressed with Tesoro's handling of the cleanup.

“They've responded aggressively and quickly,” Roberts commented, also noting that the cleanup will cost upward of $4 million. “Sometimes we've had to ask companies to do what they did right off the mark. They're going at this aggressively and they know they have a problem and they know what they need to do about it.”

Tesoro Logistics Chairman and CEO Greg Goff also weighed in on the spill.

"Protection and care of the environment are fundamental to our core values, and we deeply regret any impact to the landowner," said Goffin a press release. "We will continue to work tirelessly to fully remediate the release area."

Pipeline to Albany Refinery, Barging on the Hudson

Tesoro's six-inch pipeline was carrying oil obtained via the controversial hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") process to the Stampede, ND rail facility. From Stampede, Canadian Pacific's freight trains take the oil piped from Tesoro's pipeline and ship it to an Albany, NY holding facility by Global Partners located along the Hudson River.

"Over five years, the equivalent of roughly 91 million barrels of oil will be transported via CP’s rail network from a loading facility in Stampede, N.D., to a Global terminal in Albany," explained a story in the Financial Post.

Albany's holding facility received its first Canadian Pacific shipment from the Bakken Shale in December 2011, according to Bloomberg, with 1.4 million barrels of storage capacity. The facility receives 149,000-157,000 barrels of Bakken crude per day from Canadian Pacific.

Once shipped to Global's Albany holding facility, much of the oil is barged to market on tankers along the Hudson from the Port of Albany.

"As much as a quarter of the shale oil being produced in North Dakota could soon be headed by rail to the Port of Albany," explained an April 2012 article in the Albany Times-Union. "The crude oil...will be loaded onto barges to be shipped down the Hudson River to refineries along the East Coast."

North Dakota Petroleum Council Responds

North Dakota Petroleum Council's response to the largest fracked oil spill in U.S. history and one of the biggest onshore spills in U.S. history? Ho-hum.

"You know, this is an industrial business and sometimes things happen and the companies are certainly responsible to take care of these things when they happen," Petroleum Council President Ron Ness told KQCD.

John Berger, Manager of Tesoro's Mandan, ND, refinery, sits on the Petroleum Council's Board of Directors.

tags: ExxonMobil Pegasus pipeline spill, Bakken shale oil deposit, U.S. National Response Center, Mayflower oil spill, North Dakota Petroleum Council, fracking, fracking oil

Article Tabs

Spanish tax resisters and activists from the 15M movement have joined forces to organize a sharing economy network – and to nourish it with redirected taxes.

Christopher Dell pushed through a deal for Bechtel Corporation, America's largest engineering and construction firm, to build the costly "Patriotic Highway" to Albania – then was hired by the firm.

Paul has paired his retrograde economic ideas with a very outspoken stance against militarism and the espionage state – but is a zero-regulated free market what young voters really want?

Anyone who has ever gone "skipping," or "dumpster diving," knows that shops regularly throw out masses of perfectly edible food.

The fees Wall Street extracts from public entities like the ones in L.A. could total more than $50 billion a year – enough to provide free tuition at every public college and university in the country.

A series of potential jurors voiced opposition to Occupy Wall Street as Cecily McMillan, 25, faces seven years in prison for assault.

Posted 5 days 13 hours ago

"Right now the future of Spain's youth looks pretty black. The country is not creating anything. With minimal job opportunities, many young people are going to other countries to find work.”

Posted 5 days 14 hours ago

The new 192-page book documents the activities of Occupy Austin and includes photographs of marches, arrests, assemblies, court trials, the camp itself and even law enforcement infiltration.

Posted 5 days 14 hours ago

New research finds that richest 0.1 percent of Americans have doubled their share of the pie, dramatically expanding their portion of the country's wealth in three decades.

Posted 5 days 13 hours ago

In All the Presidents' Bankers, Nomi Prins writes a painstakingly researched history of the financial industry's collusion with the White House to create a self-serving United States financial policy.

Posted 5 days 13 hours ago
Electronic voting machines are vulnerable to security breaches.

The Ohio Republican Party has moved four ways to steal America's 2012 election. The Buckeye State is almost certain to emerge as a decider in this year's presidential election, and the GOP is moving fast to ensure victory, no matter what it takes.

Manufacturers are targeting markets in Latin America for the martial use of drones in law enforcement and military operations, provoking protests from civil liberties and human rights groups.

Occupy Big Food

A crucial part of the success of Occupy will also depend on getting Americans to understand corporate control of our food supply and the way in which, over the past sixty years, industrial food has come to dominate our food choices.

In what's being dubbed the biggest document leak since Wikileaks, a cache of 2.5 million files has cracked open the secrets of more than 120,000 offshore companies and trusts, exposing hidden dealings of politicians, con men and the mega-rich the world over.

Sign Up