February 3, 2012

Oil Summit addresses reservation issues

Oil Summit addresses reservation issues
By Jerry W. Kram

New Town and Parshall are close to Ground Zero in one of the largest oil and gas plays in history, and while the boom is bring much needed employment to the area, the region is also suffering the burden of the increased demand on local infrastructure, environmental impacts and a severe lack of housing.
Dealing with the good and the bad of the oil boom is the purpose of the Nueta, Hidatsa and Sahnish Allottees International Oil and Gas Summit. The theme of the meeting was “Looking out for our interests today, for tomorrow.” The Summit was held in the Northern Lights Building in New Town Wednesday and Thursday.
“We’ve had a great turnout the first day,” said Ken Hall, one of the Summit’s organizers. “The meeting is for tribal allottees, which is all of us on the Fort Berthold Reservation. It is all the tribal membership. We encourage the allottees and the owners of the land and minerals to be proactive and at the table – know what is in the lease language and know what the market value of their land is.”
Hall said the summit has been planned since July and has attracted industry and political leaders as speakers as well as experts in oil and gas production, environmental management, leasing and economic development. Wednesday’s sessions focused on production looking at questions like how many wells are going to be drilled, how much oil will be produced and what are the laws that affect production.

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