Continental Resources agreed to pay a $7,500 fine, issued by the Public Service Commission, in January to settle a complaint that the oil company couldn’t locate underground pipelines in Southwest North Dakota. Commissioner Brian Kalk said that operators need to be able to locate underground facilities or face violations of the North Dakota One Call
law. “Third-party damage is the biggest reason why pipelines fail or power lines fail,” Kalk added.
While many One Call violations come when excavators fail to follow the call-before-you-dig law, causing damage to underground utilities, the reverse occurred in this instance with an excavator complaining about the pipeline owner.
In making the fine, the Public Service Commission said Continental Resources failed to locate and mark their pipelines within 48 hours of a One Call request, as required by North Dakota law. The complaint was filed by Ernst Trenching of Fargo in October. Ernst did not do the excavation because they were concerned about striking a pressurized air pipeline.