An oil well near New Town is spewing oil after a blowout last night.
Oil began shooting from the well located a half mile north of Lake Sakakawea about 6pm Wednesday,
bathing the area land in a yellowish tinted coating of oil.
In addition, liquid oil was escaping from the well, but according to company officials has so far been contained within the area of the well site.
The well is owned by Slawson Exploration of Kansas.
The company's district supervisor says a crew was working on the well - which recently began producing oil - when some sort of equipment malfunction happened and they lost control of the well.
Kyle Waliezer says after workers were known to be safe, the company started trying to contain the damage caused by the spilling oil.
(Kyle Waliezer, Slawson Exploration) "We're sensitive to what's going on around here we know we're impacting the ground but as of right now we just have a mist of oil. All the liqids are staying on the surface and we've done a good job at all our locations around the lake. We've put secondary containment and even a third containment around the location to protect. So the location itself will hold a lotta oil."
A state oil and gas official says the effort to shut off the leak is being handled by Wild Well Control, a specialized company that deals with oil well problems.
Waliezer says that process will go on slowly to maintain safety.
(Kyle Waliezer, Slawson Exploration) "We're hoping that by the end of the day today we have it shut down but there are some safety issues. We sure don't want a fire and we sure don't want to hurt anybody so we're being very cautious."
Late this afternoon, equipment was briefly put in place to deflect the shooting oil - minimizing the distance from the well that the oil was flying, but it was removed and the oil is again shooting into the air and drifting northward - away from the lake.
As for how much oil has been spilled, state and company officials say that won't be known until the situation is resolved.