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Top 5 Bakken stories of the week

Here are the top five stories from Bakken.com for the week of January 17 through January 23. Enjoy!

5. Cleanup underway for nearly 3M-gallon saltwater spill in ND

In this photo taken Jan. 12, 2015, crews dig up land at a saltwater spill site near Blacktail Creek outside Williston, N.D. A North Dakota health official called the 70,000 barrel spill the state's largest during the state's current oil boom. (AP Photo/Williston Herald, Zack Nelson)

In this photo taken Jan. 12, 2015, crews dig up land at a saltwater spill site near Blacktail Creek outside Williston, N.D. A North Dakota health official called the 70,000 barrel spill the state’s largest during the state’s current oil boom. (AP Photo/Williston Herald, Zack Nelson)

Cleanup is underway after nearly 3 million gallons of brine, a salty, toxic byproduct of oil and natural gas production, leaked from a pipeline in western North Dakota, the largest spill of its kind in the state since the current energy boom began.

The full environmental impact of the spill, which contaminated two creeks, might not be clear for months. Some previous saltwater spills have taken years to clean up. A contractor hired by the pipeline operator will be on site Thursday, assessing the damage.

Operator Summit Midstream Partners LLC detected the pipeline spill on Jan. 6, about 15 miles north of Williston and informed North Dakota officials then. State health officials on Wednesday said they weren’t given a full account of the size until Tuesday. To read the full story, click here.

4. How does the current oil price plummet rank?

Getty Image/NewsCred

Getty Image/NewsCred

It’s a crude reality, but the state of oil and gas production in America is in the midst of a heavy slump. Veterans of the game will tell you they’ve seen this before, and a few years of prosperity followed by a slowdown is the way it goes. The United States has produced oil for well over a century with countless market forces impacting oil booms throughout U.S. history. As for the current go round, its bad, but we’ve been through worse.

Last week, The Business Times released an infographic which compared the big drops in oil prices over the past 26 years. In total, there were 13 significant decreases (not including our current decline) in oil price since 1988. Oil slumps were based on how much prices changed from six months earlier and later from a specific value. Additionally, the length of time of the slumps were taken into context. To read the full story, click here.

3. Bakken: 2015 is off to a deadly start

Getty Images via NewsCred

Getty Images via NewsCred

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is reporting that North Dakota has seen as many oil and gas related deaths this year as the entirety of last year. The figures for 2015 date back to October 1.

KX News reports that OSHA tracks the data from October 1 of one year to September 30 of the next. The last few weeks have been especially dangerous according to OSHA Area Director Eric Brooks. Four of the five fatal accidents reported for 2015 have occurred during the first few weeks of January. The deaths are currently being investigated. To read the full story, click here.

2. Oil jumps as Saudi king’s death feeds market uncertainty

A U.S. Marine holds the car door for Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah bin Abdelaziz (R) as he arrives at the White House before a dinner with U.S. President George W. Bush for the participants in the G20 Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy in Washington, November 14, 2008. REUTERS/ Jonathan Ernst via NewsCred

A U.S. Marine holds the car door for Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah bin Abdelaziz (R) as he arrives at the White House before a dinner with U.S. President George W. Bush for the participants in the G20 Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy in Washington, November 14, 2008. REUTERS/ Jonathan Ernst via NewsCred

SINGAPORE – Oil prices jumped in Asian trading on Friday as news of the death of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah added to uncertainty in energy markets already facing some of the biggest shifts in decades.

Abdullah died early on Friday and his brother Salman became king, the royal court in the world’s top oil exporter and birthplace of Islam said in a statement carried by state television.

U.S. benchmark WTI crude futures rose more than 2 percent to a high of $47.76 a barrel, but had eased back to $47.09 by 0135 GMT. To read the full story, click here.

1. Kinder Morgan entering Bakken with $3 billion deal

The entrance for the Kinder Morgan Tank Farm is pictured in Burnaby, British Columbia, October 6, 2014.  REUTERS/Ben Nelms

The entrance for the Kinder Morgan Tank Farm is pictured in Burnaby, British Columbia, October 6, 2014. REUTERS/Ben Nelms via NewsCred

HOUSTON – Leading U.S. pipeline Kinder Morgan Inc <KMI.N> said on Wednesday it will enter North Dakota’s Bakken shale with a $3 billion acquisition of Hiland Partners, a pipeline and logistics company founded by Continental Resources <CLR.N> Chief Executive Officer Harold Hamm.

The deal includes acreage in the Bakken’s top producing counties from which Kinder expects substantial oil output despite crude prices <CLc1> <LCOc1> that have fallen by more than half since June.

“The Bakken is the one producing basin in which Kinder Morgan doesn’t have a large presence,” Chief Executive Rich Kinder told analysts on Wednesday. “We are in the Tier 1 sweet spot of the Bakken. Otherwise we wouldn’t have done the deal.” To read the full story, click here.

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