$68K Fined for Byproduct Spills

For three spills of an oil and gas byproduct in southwestern Colorado, BP America Production Co. has been fined $68,000.

Produced water and other substances from cracked pipelines caused the gas byproduct to be released in the county.  State records shows the spills occurred in April 2018, November 2018 and April 2019.

BP has agreed to spend about $12.5 million by 2022 to repair or replace 17 miles of pipelines in La Plata County, reported by The Durango Herald on Wednesday.

‘Pipelines are cracking as a result of the stress of ground movement,’ BP attorney told the state Oil and Gas Conservation Commission this week.


Enbridge's Line 3 Pipeline Opening Delayed in Minnesota

The startup plans of Line 3 replacement crude oil pipeline through northern Minnesota by the Canadian-based Enbridge Energy is delayed by a year, the company said on Friday. The company now expects the new pipeline to go into service in the second half of 2020.

The project was approved last summer by the state’s Public Utilities Commission and the initial plan was to put the pipeline into service in the second half of 2019.

But the Minnesota Department of Commerce argued that Enbridge failed to provide legally adequate long-range demand forecasts to establish that is needed.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz recently said his administration will keep pursuing an appeal of an independent regulatory commission's approval of Enbridge's plan.

According to Enbridge Energy, Line 3 is increasingly prone to cracking and corrosion, and wants to be replaced. But the Native American and environmental activists argue the project risks spills in pristine areas.


Researchers Report Toxins from Dakota Oil Field Wastewater Spills

A worker builds up a berm against a saltwater spill from an underground pipeline on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation near Mandaree, N.D. Source: AP Photo/Tyler Bell

Researchers reported toxins exceeding federal water quality standards in waterways and soils from oil development in North Dakota.

Scientists from Duke University say they found high levels of ammonium, lead, and other toxins in waters affected by recent wastewater spills in the Bakken oil field region. Soils at the site were also found to have traces of radium, which forms naturally with underground oil and gas deposits.

Although scientists say the monitoring of the water is necessary to determine if the water is safe or poses a threat, the North Dakota environmental health chief Dave Glatt reported that most wastewater spills are cleaned quickly and do not pose serious harm.

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