Oasis Well In North Dakota Out Of Control, Leaking Oil And Brine


WILLISTON, N.D., Oct 19 (Reuters) - A North Dakota oil well owned by Oasis Petroleum Inc blew out over the weekend and is leaking an unknown amount of crude and saltwater, state officials said on Monday.

The well is located about 15 miles south of White Earth, North Dakota, in Mountrail County, one of the more-prolific oil-producing regions in the state.

The blowout happened at 11 p.m. local time, Saturday, Oct. 17, and the company worked all weekend to regain control of the well but so far has been unsuccessful, the North Dakota Department of Health said in a statement.

A light sheen of oil was spotted about 850 feet (259.08 m)away from the well on the White Earth River, a tributary of the Missouri River, and an absorbent boom has been installed in an attempt to keep the oil from moving downstream, state officials said.

Crude oil extracted from the state's Bakken shale formation typically contains high concentrations of saltwater, or brine, that must be separated.

A representative for Houston-based Oasis was not immediately available to comment.

(Reporting by Ernest Scheyder; Editing by Diane Craft)


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