North Dakota tribe starts drilling its own wells on reservation

An oil flare in Mandaree, on the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation of North Dakota. Photo by Talli Nauman / Native Sun News

The Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation of North Dakota is taking more control over energy development on the reservation.

Missouri River Resources, a tribally-owned company, has drilled four wells so far this year, Reuters reported. The tribe will earn more money from the wells rather than relying on royalties from outside producers.

According to Reuters, the tribe has earned more than $650 million in energy development revenues since 2008 as part of an agreement with the state. Talks are ongoing to renew the deal but Chairman Mark Fox indicated the tribe isn't happy because the state has lowered the tax rate on oil producers.

"It's possible that we may not figure out how to best reach an agreement," Fox told Reuters.

Previously, the tribe and the state charged different tax rates, a regime that some believed hindered development on the reservation. The 2008 agreement set parity and preceded a boom in production.

Gov. Jack Dalrymple (R) told Reuters that was optimistic a new agreement will be reached. He warned that a return to the old regime would not help the tribe.

"The reason they had virtually no activity on the reservation before (the tax agreement was signed) was because they did not have a clear and transparent tax policy that people could have confidence in," Dalrymple told Reuters.

Get the Story:
ND Native Americans hint at exiting state oil tax deal (Reuters 7/14)

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