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Pipeline spill contaminates southwest North Dakota creek

MARMARTH, N.D. — A pipeline spill from an enhanced oil recovery system in Bowman County has contaminated Kid Creek, a North Dakota Department of Health official said Thursday, Feb. 14.

Denbury Onshore reported about 75 barrels, or 3,150 gallons, of source water spilled on Feb. 7 about 10 miles south of Marmarth in the far southwest corner of the state. Source water is groundwater used for enhanced oil recovery that contains a higher level of dissolved solids and minerals than fresh water, but is lower in chlorides than produced water, the health department said.

Kid Creek flows into the Little Missouri River. The spill occurred near a well site about a quarter mile from a stock dam and 1¼ miles away from the river, said Bill Suess, spill investigation program manager for the health department.

The spill was reported on Feb. 8 and a health department inspector was there the same day, Suess said. But because of freezing conditions, it took longer to confirm the contamination had reached the creek, he said.

The department will continue to monitor the investigation and cleanup.