North Dakota hides hundreds of oil spills – investigation

A report from Grist.org claims that North Dakota’s fracking companies, oil pipeline owners and state officials have been keeping information about hundreds of oil spills secret for a number of years.

Two weeks ago, the website had revealed that the details of a major oil spill on a North Dakota wheat farm had been kept secret from the public, legislature and the governor. It later emerged that the state department had kept news of a 20,600 barrel spill to itself.

According to the Associated Press, “North Dakota has recorded 139 pipeline leaks that spilled a total of 735 barrels of oil. In 2012, there were 153 pipeline leaks that spilled 495 barrels of oil, data show. A little more than half of the spills companies reported to North Dakota occurred “on-site,” where a well is connected to a pipeline, and most were fewer than 10 barrels. The remainder of the spills occurred along the state’s labyrinth of pipelines.”

The news outlet also shared that: North Dakota also had 291 “incidents” this year that leaked a total of about 2,209 barrels of oil. Data show that all but 490 barrels were contained and cleaned up at the well site. In 2012, there were 168 spills reported that leaked 1,089 barrels of oil; all but 376 barrels were contained on site, data show. Only one incident — a crash involving an oil truck last year — was reported publicly.

I previously wrote a blog piece how the lack of public trust in the oil sector is linked to the sector’s lack of transparency. Cover ups and secret-keeping does very little to build public trust.

 

Read full article at: http://grist.org/news/hundreds-of-oil-spills-kept-secret-by-north-dakota/

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