Pipeline leak spills about 8,400 gallons in Bowman County


BISMARCK — A pipeline leak spilled about 200 barrels of source water near Marmarth in southwestern North Dakota on Tuesday, Nov. 24.

The North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality stated in a release that about 8,400 gallons of source water spilled and impacted pastureland near Marmarth, which is about 70 miles southwest of Dickinson. Source water is higher in dissolved solids and minerals than freshwater, according to the agency.

This kind of water is used for enhanced oil recovery, according to the Department of Environment Quality. Enhanced oil recovery involves processes where water and other chemicals or gases are injected into an oil well to increase the ability of oil to flow into a nearby well or reservoir, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. The process helps recover more oil from depleted oil reservoirs.

The Bowman County pipeline is operated by Denbury Onshore LLC, and the North Dakota Department of Health is inspecting the site and conducting an investigation.

Michelle (she/her, English speaker) is a Bismarck-based journalist for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead and Report for America, a national service organization that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on under-covered topics and communities.
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