New Oil Refinery for Fort Berthold | VideoJennifer Joas | 10/10/2012
Fort Berthold was chosen as the place for the first oil refinery in decades.
"On the Bakken formation there is so much production coming into the counties oil and gas industries just from the Bakken formation. And secondly because the tribe has a huge amount of that oil and gas and they had the willingness and the economic power to be able to build a refinery," Salazar said.
"Project like the refinery up in the Fort Berthold reservation is exciting news. It will allow crude oil to be refined and processed here in the state and we can keep some of that oil local," said Justin Kringstad with the ND Pipeline Authority.
The Bakken produces 700,000 barrels of oil per day. This facility will be able to refine 13,000 barrels per day, which is a small fraction of the oil produced here. But leaders say it still could have an impact on western communities.
"With the activity and the growth in North Dakota, we`ve had increased demand for primarily diesel fuel in western North Dakota for the rigs and trucks and all the activity. So that oil that`s being refined will very quickly be absorbed into this growing market here in North Dakota," Kringstad said.
It took the Three Affiliated Tribes several years to get this application approval, but state petroleum council president Ron Ness is hoping this is a sign of more to come from the federal government.
"We are seeing more refining capacity in North Dakota and as our population increase, we`re going to need more refined product here which these are the things we need to build out that infrastructure."
Fort Berthold needs to still secure financing before they begin construction.
The Tesoro refinery in North Dakota refines more than 60,000 barrels per day.
North Dakota also gets its refined products from refineries in Billings and the Twin Cities.