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Cow blamed for causing spill in ND oil patch

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 29, 2014 at 4:27 pm •  Published: May 29, 2014
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BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A cow is suspected of causing a spill of natural gas liquids near a tributary of the Little Missouri River, prompting North Dakota regulators to warn energy companies to ensure their facilities are bovine-proof.

State Environmental Health Chief Dave Glatt said Thursday that a cow might have rubbed against a tank valve two days earlier, spilling about 20 barrels of natural gas condensate near Sully Creek, south of Medora in western North Dakota.

Condensate is a byproduct of natural gas production.

The state Health Department said the site is owned by a subsidiary of Oneok Inc., based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Glatt said cleanup is underway and absorbent booms have been placed in Sully Creek as a precaution.

The company did not immediately returned calls seeking comment Thursday.

Glatt said the cow was either curious or had an itch that needed scratching.

"They just get rubbing along those valves and they open up," Glatt said. "Sometimes they need to scratch their backs and they open those valves."

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