oil spill

Stephanie Joyce

A pipeline spilled an estimated 1200 gallons of crude oil into a dry creek bed near Gillette over the weekend.

The Belle Fourche Pipeline Company, a True Company subsidiary, owns the gathering line responsible for the spill into Donkey Creek. 

It’s not clear how long the line was leaking before the company shut it down. The Department of Environmental Quality says it may have been a few days.

In Wyoming, gathering lines are largely unregulated and are not monitored for spills. The company’s report about the spill lists internal corrosion as the cause. 

Stephanie Joyce

 

The Casper-based company responsible for January’s Yellowstone River oil spill has proposed a new pipeline in North Dakota. Labor unions are opposing Bridger Pipeline’s project.

Evan Whiteford of the Laborers International Union of North America is the first to say he’s not opposed to pipelines.

“But we support the pipelines being done correctly and safely.”

Despite recording more than 500 spills, the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission levied no fines for unauthorized releases in 2013.

Natural resources program supervisor Tom Kropatsch says that figure includes all releases -- whether of oil, natural gas, produced water or drilling mud.

“In 2010 we actually reduced the volume requirements on reportable spills to us. So, we see a lot more, as far as numbers of spills now than we did several years ago, just because we changed the requirement on volume.”