SHARE
Image courtesy of the Weather Channel.

Officials in North Dakota ordered Zavanna LLC to shut in four oil wells Wednesday near an intersection of the Missouri and Yellowstone rivers amid growing flooding concerns.

North Dakota’s Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) asked Denver-based Zavanna to shut in about 10,000 barrels of oil per day that the company produces from about 15 wells near the confluence of the two rivers, Reuters said.

The company was asked to shut in four wells by North Dakota officials and also chose to voluntarily shut in an additional 11 wells in the area.

“We’re going to wait until we’re more comfortable starting them up,” Zavanna production engineer Kelsi Waite told Reuters.

North Dakota officials have not disclosed when the shut in order will end.

The DMR is concerned that water levels at the river confluence could rise above the 22 foot flood level this weekend after record rainfalls on Tuesday.

The DMR has also given other producers the option to voluptuary shut in wells that are farther from the confluence, including wells operated by Norway’s Statoil, ExxonMobil subsidiary XTO Energy and Oasis Petroleum.

A representative for Statoil told Reuters the company has not shut in any wells yet, but it is monitoring the situation and will conduct shut in before flood waters hits the drilling pads.

DMR officials have also stepped up inspections near the confluence to ensure upstreams in the area are prepared for flooding.

“These steps include ensuring adequate diking remains in place and securing any equipment on site, such as filling tanks with fresh water,” DMR field staff supervisor Dave Hvinden told Reuters.

Extreme weather and flooding has also impacted oil and gas production in Texas.

Houston-based Apache Corporation shut in some Texas wells as a precautionary measure on Monday after record breaking rains threatened to flood the Brazos River near the company’s Eagle Ford operations.