The biggest oil leak in decades is now in the pipeline, after it broke and spilled 3mm of steel pipe into the water in an underground shaft at a North Dakota oilfield
A massive oil spill that has disrupted pipelines around the world for months is now spilling into the North Dakota water supply.
Officials with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) say the pipe rupture on Thursday night at the North American Oil Sands (Nas) crude processing facility in Wrangell, North Dakota, spilled 3.7 million gallons of crude oil.
That’s nearly five times more than the 3.2 million gallons released by a separate leak in January at a different facility, the EPA says.
The ruptured pipe was located on a shaft below the ground where crude is pumped into the refinery’s storage tanks.
The North Dakota Oil Sands Corp. said it is now repairing the spill and will notify the public about the extent of the damage.
The spill is still under investigation, the agency said.
Oil prices have been on a roller coaster ride lately.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) and S&P 500 (SPX) have both climbed since the leak.
But some investors are worried the spill will trigger a global recession.
In an interview with CNBC on Thursday, Mark Bohren, chief market strategist at IG, said he thinks the spill is unlikely to lead to a recession and that he expects the S&p 500 to recover in the coming months.
The stock market also gained after the spill, as the Dow jumped 1.3 percent.
In addition, the Nas website, which tracks the company, posted a new record of 3.1 million barrels per day.
Oil tankers are now pouring oil into the fields, which is a boon for the company that owns the pipeline.
Nas spokesman Mark St. Laurent told CNBC that the company was working with regulators to fix the leak and the damage to the pipeline and has put in place safety measures, such as sealing the pipe.
A separate leak that occurred in January was reported to have released 3.5 million gallons.