Cleanup of 2013 North Dakota Oil Spill Slowed by Lack of Natural Gas

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A state regulator said cleanup of a massive 2013 oil spill in northwestern North Dakota is being slowed due to the lack of natural gas needed to power equipment at the site.

State environmental scientist Bill Suess said workers will be at the site near Tioga at least another two years baking oil from the soil using a process called thermal desorption.

Workers are trying to bring a second thermal desorption machine online but there is not enough natural gas available commercially in the area to power the unit. Suess called it “an irony” due to the amount of natural gas in the region that is being flared.

The spill was discovered by a Tioga farmer in September 2013 and has been called the worst in state history.

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