North Dakota tribe looks at expanded energy development

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The Three Affiliated Tribes is considering expanding a planned oil refinery on the Fort Berthold Reservation before it is even built, and also building a natural gas plant.

Chairman Tex Hall says he expects 3,000 wells to be producing 300,000 barrels of oil a day within six years. The $450 million refinery being built near Makoti will have the capacity to process up to 20,000 barrels daily.

Natural gas is a byproduct of oil production, but much of it is burned off because of a lack of pipelines and processing facilities. Hall says the tribe is considering possible locations for a gas plant. He says a plant would cost up to $300 million, and the tribe is seeking funding.

The tribe is holding an energy seminar in Bismarck this week.