Burgum initiates dialogue with industry, agency officials to improve pipeline safety

Tuesday, May 23, 2017 - 4:00pm

BISMARCK, N.D. – Gov. Doug Burgum today gathered oil and gas company representatives, agency officials and other stakeholders to discuss best practices and latest technologies for transporting crude oil and produced water in North Dakota and to improve monitoring, leak detection and communication of spills.

Burgum convened the invitation-only meeting at Bismarck State College to foster an open dialogue about what is being done to prevent spills and monitor pipelines and what new technologies and methods are available to improve fluid transportation.

“Our administration is committed to improving spill prevention, encouraging the use of cutting-edge monitoring and detection measures and streamlining how spills are reported and analyzed to determine the root causes of pipeline leaks,” Burgum said. “The goal is continuous improvement – not more regulations – as we seek to shrink the number and volume of spills that can be costly to the environment, landowners and operators.”

The meeting involved several dozen representatives of companies using pipelines to transport crude oil and produced water, a byproduct of oil production, as well as officials from the state Department of Mineral Resources, Department of Health, Public Service Commission, Pipeline Authority and the Three Affiliated Tribes Pipeline Authority.

Among the topics discussed were greater use of aerial drones to monitor pipelines and best practices for pipeline construction, monitoring and detection.

Moving forward, state officials will convene smaller focus groups to discuss how best to improve pipeline safety in areas of high consequence. The state also is looking at creating a single hotline for reporting pipeline spills, similar to North Dakota One Call.