Several oil tanks caught fire Saturday morning at a Whiting Petroleum site near Watford City, but no serious injuries were reported, the company said.
The McKenzie County Sheriff’s Office said it received multiple 911 calls about 10:20 a.m. Saturday that reported the ground shaking, numerous explosions and black smoke.
Whiting spokeswoman Ashley McNamee said tanks at the location caught fire and were quickly controlled.
Ten contractors who were on site were being “medically reviewed” as a precaution, McNamee said. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
The site had 16 crude oil tanks and 10 water tanks, according to the McKenzie County Sheriff’s Office. One tank had about 50 barrels of oil at the time of the fire and the oil was contained within the dikes around the well pad, the sheriff’s office said.
McKenzie County emergency manager Karolin Jappe said fire crews planned to let the oil burn and keep people out of the area. Thick, black smoke could be seen for miles.
McNamee said the oil site was shut down while the company works with emergency crews to determine the cause.