North Dakota experienced its wettest May on record and all the rain is causing trouble for some oil and gas producers.
The region had almost 8 inches of rain last month and now flood waters threaten operators near the confluence of the Missouri and Yellowstone rivers. More rain is expected and could cause raise flood levels to 22 feet by this weekend. North Dakota regulators have stepped up inspections and are urging producers to take precautions. Inclement weather can easily wreak havoc on the energy infrastructure including well flooding, road closures and truck bans.
Last year, a well owned by Zavanna LLC was swamped with water causing 1,400 gallons of oil to leak and eventually coated brush, trees and grass in the area.$3 million in fines were levied last year against 19 companies that failed to protect against spring flooding.
Other affected producers include Statoil, Exxon Mobil's XTO Energy and Oasis Petroleum, who have been given the option of voluntarily shutting in wells.