(UPDATE, 4:07 p.m.) A significant oil spill occurred at an oil well operated by Anadarko Minerals Inc. near Lustre, which is located in the central region of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation.
According to a press release, the spill was reported to the Tribes’ Office of Environmental Protection (OEP) on Friday, April 27, 2018.
The spill was spotted by a rancher doing a flyover in the area. The exact date that the leak occurred is unknown. The well had been shut-in in late December of 2017.
Wilfred Lambert of the Fort Peck Tribes OEP and officials from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) initially estimated that 600 barrels of oil and 90,000 barrels of production water, also known as brine, were released from the well.
The oil and brine flowed approximately 200 yards downhill to a stock pond used by tribal entities for watering livestock.
The press release states that the extent of the stock pond’s contamination has not been determined. Early assessments indicate about three to six inches of oil sitting on top of the water.
A clean-up plan is being developed by Anadarko with oversight by Tribe officials, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, BLM, and the Environmental Protection Agency.
Floyd Azure, Chairman of the Fort Peck Tribes, stated this spill is a further indication of the detrimental effects oil production can have on the environment and is yet another threat to the Tribe’s water quality.
The press release continues that the spill further reinforces tribal officials opposition to the XL Pipeline and pipeline development on or near the reservation.
Cost and time estimates for the clean-up are unknown at this time.
Authorities are investigating an oil spill in Valley County.
The spill occurred about five miles west of the Frazer/Richland Road, Lustre Grain East Road Junction, according to the Glasgow Courier.
The spill was discovered last Thursday, according to the Fort Peck Disaster Emergency Service Coordinator.
The amount of oil spilled is not yet known.
Clean-up is underway; there is no word yet on the cause.
Clean up and assessment are being handled by the Fort Peck Tribes and the federal Environmental Protection Agency.
We are working to get more information.
Information from the Glasgow Courier