Exclusive: Hess-owned oil railcars involved in North Dakota derailment

Slideshow ( 3 images )

WILLISTON, N.D. (Reuters) - A BNSF train that derailed in central North Dakota on Wednesday was carrying railcars owned by Hess Corp, 10 of which caught fire and forced the evacuation of a nearby town, the oil producer told Reuters late Wednesday.

Emergency crews worked into the night to extinguish the fire. No one was injured.

Hess, the third-largest North Dakota oil producer, said BNSF is leading cleanup efforts but added it stands ready to assist.

The New York-based company said it is “fully compliant” with new North Dakota crude-treatment standards that went into effect last month. The standards, designed to mitigate the incendiary effect of crude-by-rail disasters, require combustible elements be filtered out of crude oil.

It remains unclear whether the new standards helped reduce the fire caused by the derailment, but politicians, first responders and other witnesses described a subdued scene.

“The scene is very anticlimactic and rather nondramatic, which is all very good,” Congressman Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) said in an interview after leaving the site.

Reporting by Kristen Hays and Ernest Scheyder; Editing by Ken Wills