BISMARCK Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., told leaders of the Three Affiliated Tribes that his goal is to have the "oil and gas one-stop shop" in place by the end of the year. The plan would expedite leasing and issuing permits for oil and gas develoment on the Fort Berthold Reservation.
Dorgan and Rep. Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D., met with Marcus Wells Jr., chairman of the Three Affiliated Tribes, and tribal business council representatives during the Great Plains Energy Expo and Showcase held in Bismarck this week.
There, they discussed further plans and strategies to proceed with the proposed "oil and gas one-stop shop," according to a news release from the Three Affiliated Tribes.
Last month Dorgan asked the U.S. Department of the Interior at the request of Wells on behalf of the Three Affiliated Tribes to establish one office at the Fort Berthold Agency in New Town. That office would house under one roof officials from the four federal agencies involved in approving oil and gas development permits and leases on Indian lands.
Below the surface of the Fort Berthold Reservation is the Bakken Formation which is presently one of the leading oil and gas fields in the country.
However, a report issued by the Senate Indian Affairs Committee that Dorgan chairs, cited a 49-step approval process required by the Bureau of Indian Affairs for oil and gas permits and leases on trust lands, also commonly referred to as Indian lands.
Four separate agencies BIA, Bureau of Land Management, Minerals Management Service and the Office of the Special Trustee are involved in the leasing and drilling permit processes.
Currently, the Interior Department is working on the plan.