A Tesoro Logistics LP pipeline has spilled more than 20,000 barrels of crude oil into a North Dakota wheat field, the biggest leak in the state since it became a major U.S. producer.
The six-inch pipeline was carrying crude oil from the Bakken shale play to the Stampede rail facility outside Columbus, North Dakota. The affected part of the line has been shut down, Tesoro said.
Farmer Steven Jensen discovered the leak on Sept. 29 while harvesting wheat on his 1,800-acre farm, about nine miles northeast of Tioga, North Dakota.
Oil was gushing from the pipeline "like a faucet, 4 to 6 inches spewing out," said Jensen, who added that nearby wheat plants were ruined.
The leak did not pose an immediate threat to groundwater sources, Kris Roberts, who leads the environmental response team at the state Department of Health told Reuters.
At an estimated 20,600 barrels, it ranks among the biggest U.S. spills in recent years. It is the biggest oil leak on U.S. land since March, when the rupture of an Exxon Mobil pipeline in Mayflower, Arkansas spilled 5,000 to 7,000 barrels of heavy Canadian crude.A fair amount of additional information is provided at the link.