BISMARCK — The North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality has recently reported two produced water spills in McKenzie County, the heart of the state's Oil Patch.

Produced water, or brine, is a mixture of saltwater, oil and sometimes, drilling fluids, that is created as a byproduct during oil and gas production.

The department reported Thursday, Sept. 9, nearly 48,000 gallons of brine and 1,000 gallons of crude oil spilled at an oil well about 14 miles northwest of Keene, North Dakota.

Kansas-based Slawson Exploration reported that the spill occurred due to an equipment failure. All of the spilled material had been cleaned up by the time the incident was reported, according to the department.

The department reported Friday, Sept. 10, that an estimated 46,200 gallons of brine spilled about a mile northeast of Arnegard, impacting a nearby wheat field. The spill occurred at a pipeline operated by Kansas-based Tallgrass Energy.

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Department officials will continue inspecting the sites, according to the release.