Oil patch company fined $1.5 million

Oil patch company fined $1.5 million Click to Enlarge Photo:

Jul 31, 2013 at 7:16 am

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) North Dakota's Industrial Commission has fined an oil and gas company $1.5 million for violations that regulators say put a county's drinking water at risk.

The fine against Halek Operating ND LLC is the largest civil penalty the commission has issued. The commission first announced its intentions last year.

Halek Operating was accused of injecting saltwater into a disposal well in Stark County that was not up to state standards. Saltwater is a byproduct of oil production. Administrative Law Judge Allen Hoberg says no water sources have been contaminated but there is still a risk.

The Forum newspaper reports that Halek admitted the allegations in court records but said the company had transferred ownership and was not in control of the well at the time of the most egregious allegations.

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