A proposed Bakken refinery on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation has been approved by the department of interior. The refinery will be the first built on U.S. soil in over 30 years. Several major refinery expansions have been undertaken by Marathon, Exxon, and others in the past decade, but difficult permitting has made new build refineries a scarce sight. The 13,000 barrel per day Bakken refinery will be small in comparison to the super refineries that process more than 500,000 b/d, but it will be a significant economic development for North Dakota.
Secretary Salazar commented - [blockquote type="blockquote_quotes" align="left"]By working with the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara people to place this land into trust status, we are supporting infrastructure that will help bring American oil and gas to market while promoting Tribal economic development and self-determination regarding land and resource use.[/blockquote]"By working with the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara people to place this land into trust status, we are supporting infrastructure that will help bring American oil and gas to market while promoting Tribal economic development and self-determination regarding land and resource use."
The MHA National Clean Fuels Refinery will be another Bakken job engine in North Dakota. As many as 1,000 jobs will be created during construction and 140 permanent operational jobs will continue once the Bakken refinery is brought online.
The Bakken refinery is being designed with capacity of 13,000 b/d and will refine local crude into diesel, propane, and naptha products. The proposed site will be contributed to a trust by the MHA Nation for development. The three tribes asked the Interior`s Bureau of Indian Affairs to accept a 469-acre piece of property into trust. The proposed refinery will use ~190 acres and the remaining acreage will be used for the production of feed for the Tribes` buffalo herd.
Additional federal permitting will be handled by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, EPA and OSHA. The Bureau of Indian Affairs and the EPA led the drafting of the Environmental Impact Statement that was issued in 2009.
The EPA issued a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permit for the refinery in August 2011, a step under the Clean Water Act that details required conditions and limitations for the proposed refinery`s operations. A thirty-day notice of the Department`s decision to acquire the land in trust is being published in the Federal Register.