14 Tanks Burn in Explosion at North Dakota Oil Tank Battery

January 20, 2021

Authorities say an explosion at an oil tank battery near New Town, North Dakota, on Jan. 18 sent 14 tanks up in flames and caused oil and brine to spill. No injuries were reported.

New Town Fire Chief John DeGroot said the fire was allowed to burn out in a few hours. The cause of the explosion is not yet known, he said.

The incident caused 25,200 gallons of oil and 10,206 gallons of brine to spill, according to a report filed with the state by Slawson Exploration Co. The report said the spill was contained to the well site and the oil was consumed by the fire, The Bismarck Tribune reported.

Brine is highly saturated saltwater produced alongside oil and gas at well sites. It’s typically transported to an injection site for underground storage after it surfaces during oil production.

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