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Lightning strike causes oil, saltwater spill in western ND

ROSS, N.D. - A lightning strike at 4:30 a.m. Friday caused 580 barrels of oil and 1,800 barrels of saltwater to be released near Ross in Mountrail County, according to the North Dakota Oil and Gas Division.

The strike at a saltwater disposal well caused a still-smoldering fire, which burned up most of the oil. The excess oil and saltwater have been “released and contained,” according to Department of Mineral Resources spokeswoman Alison Ritter.

Cleanup will begin after the fire is extinguished. Basic Energy Services, which reported the accident, will build a dike to prevent saltwater runoff in case of rain.

A state inspector has been to the scene and will monitor the cleanup, Ritter said in an email.

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