Business | Environment

North Dakota tribe puts oil refinery on pause to review plans

The tribe already completed work on these production tanks for the project. Photo from MHA Nation Clean Fuels Refinery webcam / OxBlue

The Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation of North Dakota has put an oil refinery on hold as tribal leaders reconsider development plans.

The tribe broke ground on the $450 million Thunder Butte Petroleum Services project in May 2013. It would be the first facility of its kind in Indian Country and the first new refinery in the U.S. since 1976.

But Chairman Mark Fox, who took office earlier this month, said plans are being revamped. The tribe is looking at environmental and financial issues, The Minot Daily News reported.

"Even though we know we’re building it and we’re doing some things to prepare for that with the berm, other dirt work and other things that have been done, those will all fit in with what I’ll call our revised plan for development,” Fox told the paper.

The project was championed by former chairman Tex Hall, who did not survive the tribe's primary. He told the Native Sun News that it was a step towards "energy independence and economic sovereignty" for the tribe.

Hall and other tribal leaders have spent more than 10 years on the project. It required approval of a land-into-trust application by the Bureau of Indian Affairs and review by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Get the Story:
Tribes to revamp plans for proposed oil refinery (AP / The Minot Daily news 11/28)
Three Affiliated Tribes to revise refinery project plan (The Minot Daily News 11/27)

Related Stories:
Native Sun News: North Dakota tribe starts work on oil refinery (11/15)
Delvin Cree: North Dakota tribe breaks ground on oil refinery (5/9)
Editorial: North Dakota tribal oil refinery won't lower gas prices (10/15)
North Dakota tribe to move forward with plans for oil refinery (10/11

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