WILLISTON, N.D. – The North Dakota Industrial Commission plans to pursue a criminal judgment against an oil and gas operator after it failed to pay a $1.5 million fine by the deadline, an official said Wednesday.

The fine against Halek Operating ND LLC for violations that put Stark County’s drinking water at risk represents the largest fine ever levied against an oil and gas operator in North Dakota.

The company missed last Friday’s deadline to pay the fine, so the commission is preparing paperwork to pursue a monetary judgment in district court, said Lynn Helms, director of the Department of Mineral Resources.

However, Helms said he “seriously doubts” the company will pay the full fine, pointing out that associated company Halek Energy LLC filed for bankruptcy in Texas.

By filing for a criminal judgment, the Industrial Commission will be able to pursue confiscation of Halek’s $140,000 bond with the state, Helms said.

In addition, the commission will try in court to confiscate other assets, including the disposal well where the violation occurred and a marginally producing oil well in the same area, Helms said.

Halek injected saltwater – a byproduct of oil production - into a disposal well after being told to stop because the well was not up to state standards. An administrative judge who reviewed the evidence said the “egregious violations” caused considerable risk of contaminating underground drinking water sources.

A related criminal case against Montana man Nathan Garber was resolved this week in Southwest Judicial District Court with Garber ordered to serve probation and pay a $2,500 fine. Garber also is ordered to pay restitution of $1,804 to the Department of Mineral Resources Oil and Gas Division.

Meanwhile, the Environmental Protection Agency also is investigating the matter, and Helms said he anticipates Garber could face federal charges. The plea agreement with Garber was written so that if he is charged in any court for offenses related to the state case, it would not be considered a violation of his probation.

The EPA has interviewed the state’s Department of Mineral Resources field inspectors, the assistant attorney general and other staff members, Helms said.

The EPA is affected by the government shutdown and a request for comment was not returned Wednesday.

Attorneys for Halek Operating and Garber did not return calls seeking comment.

“We hope that this sends a strong message to operators and to their employees that we will aggressively pursue civil penalties and criminal penalties for willful violations,” Helms said.

Tags: north dakotanewsupdatesoil



09/13/2015 11:55pm

Most companies like these often think themselves as above the wings of law. North Dakota certainly proved this belief wrong. I hope there are many cases like these to bring the arrogance of aristocracy.

11/30/2016 4:42am

Legendary Beard it isn't always beneficial to push the zit inwards; alternatively, use a mild squeezing method - in any other case greater zits can also pop across the website of your final zit popping movement. in case the squeezing reasons you pain you may prevent.


05/11/2016 12:20pm

It is a sad truth of our country that people are as much responsible as they should be. They do not even take charge of their mistakes. Oil and gas operator should be charged with the fine.

11/30/2016 9:42pm

Operalux late even guys had realized the significance of true skin care. numerous merchandise have been delivered exclusively because of the higher hazard they face in factories and different locations of risks. the importance given to male fashions in catwalks.


06/06/2016 3:52am

This blog post assists by supplying useful info. I would suggest others to go through the post and get your expertise boosted-up.

06/08/2016 4:06am

He often pauses before he answers a questions, though this may be more to slow Frentzen’s timing rather than a lack of understanding of English.

12/01/2016 10:13pm

Muscle Science building intensity will assist you build muscle tissues more speedy as well, so do not overdo it from the begin, and make sure not to overtrain-take sufficient time to rest among exercises.sooner or later, hold your muscle mass, and the rest of your frame hydrated.


12/02/2016 9:45pm

Max Test Xtreme your application.continual muscle damage soreness isn't always a prerequisite of muscle increase-muscle boom still happens with out intense muscle damage. proper muscle growth principals and nutrition are inflicting which you do not experience much ache.


12/04/2016 9:35pm

Ultimate Testo Explosion however despite the fact that matters like the bench press may be a mass builder it typically does not upload enough definition to the bicep. so that you will have to do a little work with more centered workouts inclusive of curls ect you can not grow.


12/05/2016 8:47pm

TESTX CORE engaging your frame into growing some muscle with the aid of simple sports lie pull ups, squats, bench presses and so forth with a view to lay the foundation to a first-rate frame.frame building is greater frequently appeared as an interest that makes.


12/06/2016 9:46pm

DermEssence in matters of health i will file that none of the yorkies i have owned or regarded have exhibited any traits but numerous assets document that some ailments not unusual to the breed include bronchitis dental issues hypoglycemia legg-perthes disorder.


12/07/2016 9:28pm

Neurocyclin in addition to appointments.brain accidents are any other of the cases that come with excessive problems related with them. miami brain injury lawyer would make sure that the family gets the exceptional remedy centers whilst the brain damage.


12/08/2016 9:52pm

Vmax Male Enhancement picks consist of moisturizers face and body toning products herbal breast enhancement face lotions cellulite lotions spider veins remedies cosmetics nail care and greater.our laboratory makes use of the highest great substances and production approaches.


12/13/2016 3:34am

Pure Asian Garcinia to different classes.eating greater than your frame requires is the primary reason for no longer losing weight around your middle. you need to do some moderate sporting activities geared toward your stomach to lose some weight round your waist.


12/13/2016 9:14pm

EF13 Muscle Supplement the right weight lifting actions to your frame. willpower, trial and errors, and a steady effort will ultimately give you the outcome you crave. the most vital component is to stay focused and understand your incentive is waiting for you down the road.


12/14/2016 9:26pm

LeanFire XT praise yourself no longer with food through the cease of each day for all of your hard paintings.to begin right and now not to be too difficult on your self work on making little life-style adjustments. looking to make massive modifications to your life can prove.


12/15/2016 10:02pm

EF13 Muscle Supplement what impacts these supplements produce at the same time as within the body.there are loads of supplements that will absolutely boom muscle length. of the maximum dangerous supplements are steroids and hormones. steroids are used to boom the boom of muscle.


12/18/2016 9:47pm

Max Test Xtreme on a greater streamlined look want not fear transformation right into a bodybuilder when pursuing one of these software such herculean physiques are the outcomes of excessive ranges of dedication supplementation and food intake over a few years.proper nutrition.


02/08/2017 9:18pm

Alpha Monster Advanced while you've devised the proper schooling agenda for constructing muscle you must decide to be earnest and stay steady. http://t-rexmuscleadvice.com/alpha-monster-advanced/

02/08/2017 10:33pm

I am always searching online for articles that can help me. Your post is very helpful....!!

03/26/2017 3:44am


Leave a Reply

SPYDR Oilfield Service LLC. Copyright 2013 - 513 East Broadway, Williston, North Dakota 58801 701-774-2340 SPYDR OILFIELD SERVICE -Roustabout -Oil Field Contstruction- Oilfield Maintenance