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Van Hook Site Notes

Van Hook Site Notes

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Published by northdecoder
Van Hook Slawson Oil Well Blow-out Site visit notes
Van Hook Slawson Oil Well Blow-out Site visit notes

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Published by: northdecoder on Aug 02, 2013
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Van Hook WMA Site Visit, Oil Release Investigation
December 14
& 17
December 14
Ryan Newman, William Harlon
Mark Glaser, BLM & Kris Roberts, NDDH
On December 13
, 2012, an oil well located in Mountrail County, North Dakota owned andoperated by the Slawson Oil Company, experienced a “blowout” due to an “equipmentmalfunction” that resulted in the uncontrolled release of an undetermined (as of December 15
)amount of Bakken crude and salt water mixture. The high pressure event created a geyser of Bakken crude mixed with the salt water. Those on site indicated the geyser was approximately40 – 50 foot high.Ryan Newman, Lake Manager and William Harlon, Environmental Specialist, arrived on siteFriday morning at approximately 11:00 am, CST. Newman and Harlon met with Mr. Mark Glaser, Natural Resource Specialist for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Mr. KrisRoberts, Environmental Geologist with the North Dakota Department of Health. Newman andHarlon indicated that the purpose of their visit was to conduct an inspection of COE-administered lands in the vicinity of the spill for the purpose of determining if impacts occurredto COE lands as a result of the uncontrolled release. Glaser and Roberts accompanied Newmanand Harlon for a portion of the site visit.Mr. Roberts indicated some “residue” had made it onto COE lands adjacent to the well site. Heindicated that approximately 1 inch of snow accumulated late on December 13
and intoDecember 14
, covering the layer of Bakken crude. The conditions during the site visit werecharacterized by overcast skies, dense fog (app. 150 yards visibility) and cool temperatures (app.12
F). The presence of a 1-inch snow layer and fog did not inhibit detection of Bakken crude.Crude was identified as yellow/orange layer of snow. This strata of crude/snow-mix ranged inthickness from 0.5 to 1 inch. The crude was further detected by odor and the “oily” film it lefton clean notebook paper.Newman, Harlon, Roberts and Glaser walked the COE boundary at the site to determine theextent of the crude along the north-south line, at which point Mr. Glaser separated from thegroup and ultimately returned to his office. Newman, Harlon and Roberts continued to walk transects in an effort to determine the extent of the crude on COE lands. Site specificcharacteristics were geo-referenced and utilized as markers to identify the approximate perimeterof the area-of-impact. It was determined the crude extended approximately 6, 490 feet onto COElands (measured northeast to southwest using Google Earth Pro and GIS). The crude extended
approximately 4,100 feet into Lake Sakakawea (i.e., 4,100 feet measured from the 1850’operating pool elevation). Approximately one half of the 4,100 feet was on ice. Crude wasobserved on snow, ice, bare ground, grass and trees (both deciduous and evergreen) during thesite visit. The crude was visible as either a layer within the snow (as previously discussed) or asheen on vegetation. The larger portion of the spill was localized around the well pad. CleanHarbors representatives were on site. They indicated that a profile had been made for wastedisposal and the material was being hauled to their landfill in Sawyer, ND. Clean Harbors alsoindicated that they were not hired as a contractor by the responsible party to perform actualrecovery and clean up of the spill to this point. There were a D8, excavator, motorgrader,multiple trucks, etc working together as a means to scrape oil, dirt, and snow from private landsinto piles and load for disposal. It appeared the equipment had recently erected a secondary berm(outside of the well pad) on private property as a means to capture any overland flow that left thepad and headed towards the Reservoir. These activities were taking place approximately 2,000feet from the COE boundary.COE personnel will be meeting with the State Health Department, the BLM, NDG&F (as theimpacted area is a Wildlife Management Area leased to them), and Slawson (the well owner)onsite, December 18, 2012, to delineate the extent of the remediation area and to discuss the bestmethods for remediation. Following is the tentative remediation plan:1) COE, NDGF, NDDoH, and Slawson will meet at 10AM Tuesday, December 18
todiscuss/outline areas as listed below.2) Immediate - Conifer and other mist-impacted trees will be sprayed with Ecobiotics(Enviroshield, Williston – 701-774-1085 now and at spring warm-up).3) Immediate - Back bay area south of the recreation area will have snow removed by 2 skid-steers with snow buckets.4) Immediate - Drainage in 2 or 3 places before the lake will be stripped of vegetation (andvegetation disposed properly) and hay filters from round hay bales will be laid across thedrainage to filter out any petroleum sheen that runs off during melting periods.5) Immediate Produced water sample from Lunker2 will be collected and analyzed forhydro-fracking additives.6) Immediate Samples will be collected from back bay and horseshoe bar snow for analysisof petroleum, formation water and hydro-fracking additives.7) Spring Conifer and other mist impacted trees will be sprayed with Ecobiotics at warm up.8) Spring Game and Fish will evaluate potential to conduct a prescribed burn of the grassland impacted.9) April 1 - Soil samples will be collected from various areas, including the horseshoe barwhere tern and plovers nest, and tested to assess effectiveness of remediation measures.

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