National | Trust

Indian Country energy development nears $1B mark in revenue






A drilling well in Indian Country. Photo from Bureau of Indian Affairs

Tribes and individual Indians earned $971 million in royalties for energy development on their lands in fiscal year 2013, according to data from the Interior Department.

Oil development makes up the bulk of the revenues -- $677 million, according to the Office of Natural Resources Revenue. Gas brought in more than $130.2 million while coal brought in $78.1 million.

Revenues have continued to rise every year, according to the data. In 2012, tribes and individual Indians earned $701.3 million and in 2011, they earned $545.2 million.

DOI has proposed regulations that could bring in more revenue for tribes and individual Indians. The amount is modest -- about $20 million annually -- but the valuation rule is being changed for the first time since 1988.

“Ensuring that tribal communities receive their fair share of oil and gas revenues for energy produced on their own lands is consistent with our trust responsibility to tribes,” Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said in a press release in June.

Comments are being accepted until August 18.

Get the Story:
Stakes are high in fracking debate on Indian reservations (The Washington Examiner 8/7)

Federal Register Notice:
Indian Oil Valuation Amendments (June 19, 2014)