Marathon pipeline leaks more than 4,500 gallons of brine

More than 4,500 gallons of brine, or 149 barrels, was released Tuesday in a location six miles north of Killdeer after a pipeline experienced a major leak.

By Bryce Martin

ND Group Editor

The North Dakota Department of Health was notified of the spill shortly after, which occurred at a pipeline owned by Marathon Oil in Dunn County.

There is no evidence of the spill impacting wetlands at this time, according to the department. Marathon is working with the health department on remediation plans.

The location is in an area markedly surrounded by vulnerable wetlands.

This spill marks the first of a significant size that occurred within the county this year. Despite the downturn in oil exploration, production still remains widespread around the region.

Produced water, or brine, is a byproduct from oil well drilling, along with oil and gas. It is considered industrial waste.

To achieve maximum oil recovery, waterflooding is often implemented, in which water is injected into the reservoirs to help force the oil to the production wells.

The water contains fully dissolved minerals that make it unusable as drinking or agricultural water.

Bryce Martin can be reached at

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