New directions on tribal right of ways

By North American Shale magazine staff | April 10, 2018

Lynn Helms, director of the North Dakota Oil and Gas division, hopes a spring meeting with the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs and Secretary Ryan Zinke from the Department of the Interior, will help right an easement issue in the Bakken that seems to be continuing down the wrong path.

The steps—and time—required to obtain a right-of-way on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation where nearly one-third of all Bakken oil is produced, are both long and difficult. A recent meeting with the Three Affiliated Tribes, the governing group of the FBIR, helped both the tribes and the state realize the issue was at the federal level. According to Helms, the structure of BIA’s system is greatly slowing the process and causing issues with infrastructure necessary to economically capture the gas produced in the region.