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Fire occurs at McKenzie County oil well site

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A fire occurred in a tank at an oil well site in McKenzie County on Tuesday morning.

The McKenzie County Rural Fire Department quickly put out the blaze. It occurred inside a tank containing freshwater used in the fracking process, Ovintiv spokesperson Patti Posadowski said. Fracking, also known as hydraulic fracturing, involves injecting water, sand and chemicals down a well at a high pressure to crack open rock and release oil.

The incident did not result in any deaths or major injuries, though the McKenzie County Sheriff's Office said one person was treated by first responders for "very minor" injuries.

The fire occurred on a well pad northeast of Watford City.

The cause of the incident remains under investigation. The fire did not damage any property other than the tank and nearby equipment, and there's no ongoing threat to the public, Posadowski said.

A state inspector has visited the site, said Katie Haarsager, a spokesperson for the North Dakota Oil and Gas Division.

Reach Amy R. Sisk at 701-250-8252 or


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