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SPOTLIGHT

1. OIL SPILLS

U.S. well sites in 2012 discharged more than Valdez

It went up orange, a gas-propelled geyser that rose 100 feet over the North Dakota prairie. But it was oil, so it came down brown. So much oil that when they got the well under control two days later, crude dripped off the roof of a house a half-mile away. "It had a pretty good reach," said Dave Drovdal, who owns the land where the Bakken Shale oil well, owned by Newfield Exploration Co., blew out in December near Watford City, N.D. "The wind was blowing pretty good. Some of it blew 2 miles." It was one of the more than 6,000 spills and other mishaps reported at onshore oil and gas sites in 2012, compiled in a months-long review of state and federal data by EnergyWire.

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