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  Oil in Fort Berthold: Nearly 500 wells producing today in Mandaree area hotspot  
August 24, 2012
By Eloise Ogden- Regional Editor, Minot Daily News
NEW TOWN - Oil and gas activity on the Fort Berthold Reservation is soaring.

The first well in the Bakken Formation was drilled on the reservation slightly more than four years ago. Currently, 493 wells are actively producing on the Fort Berthold Reservation, according to the August report of oil and gas activity on the reservation.

The information was provided this week by Fred Fox, administrator of the Three Affiliated Tribes' Energy Department.

Of that total number, the wells are producing from the following formations:
      - 468 are Bakken/Three Forks/Sanish.
      - 24 Madison.
      - 1 Red River.
A total of 691 wells have produced within the reservation boundaries, the report said.

Other report data includes:

   Fact Box
     Where are the rigs currently operating?

     NEW TOWN -The first oil well in the Bakken Formation on Fort Berthold Reservation was drilled in April 2008, said Fred Fox, administrator of the Three      Affiliated Tribes' Energy Department.

     Today, the reservation is in the heart of the oil and gas development in western North Dakota.

     Here's the number of rigs actively operating on the reservation as of Tuesday, Aug. 21, by segments or areas of the reservation. Fox provided the      information.
          - Mandaree Segment: 23.
          - New Town/Little Shell Segment: 6.
          - Four Bears Segment: 3.
          - Parshall/Lucky Mound (rig is north of city of Parshall): 1.
          - Twin Buttes and White Shield, none.

The numbers frequently fluctuate.
(Allottee or allotted refers to individual owners, tribal refers to the Three Affiliated Tribes or Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara, allotted or tribal trust refers
to individual or tribal mineral rights or land held in trust by the U.S. government, and fee refers to land or mineral rights not held in trust by the federal government.)

     - 100 wells with tribal interest.
     - 7 wells with 100 percent tribal interest.
     - A total of 316 producing wells since 2008 that have allotted or tribal trust interest.
     - Total number of wells waiting on completion or pipeline 95.
     - Total number of applications for permit to drill (APD's) approved 412.
     - Total number APD's pending 304.
     - Total of 100 producing wells with tribal trust interest since 2008.
     - Allotted barrels produced 13.5 million barrels.
     - Tribal barrels produced 3.5 million barrels.
     - May oil production (trust/fee Fort Berthold Reservation) 3.1 million barrels of oil equivalent (MMBOE).
     - May oil production (North Dakota) 19.8 MMBOE.
     - Total number of rigs operating on the reservation (trust/fee) 34, including 6 on fee.
     - Cumulative distributions by lessee (Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara tribal well interest):

               QEP: $23,568,280
               WPX: $17,325,401
               Marathon: $10,086,243
               EOG: $3,405,059
               Spotted Hawk: $2,533,336
               All others: $7,702,579

               2010 royalties
               Allotted: $28,792,102
               Tribal: $8,900,873

               2011 Royalties
               Allotted: $106,665,404
               Tribal: $27,707,715

               2012 Royalties
               Allotted: $72,509,439
               Tribal: $25,757,492

The data is collected from the Bureau of Indian Affairs Fort Berthold Agency, North Dakota Industrial Commission Oil and Gas, and Tall Salt Consultants.

Lynn Helms, Bismarck, director of the North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources, said in his August edition of "Director's Report, published on the North Dakota Oil and Gas Divison's website at ( that the number of rigs actively drilling on federal surface in the Dakota Prairie Grasslands in western North Dakota is steady at three.

Statewide, there was a new all-time high of 7,352 producing wells (preliminary number) for June.

As of Thursday, the rig count was 190, a decline from May, June and July when the rig count was 211, 213 and again 211, respectively. The all-time high rig count was 218 on May 29 of this year.

More than 95 percent of the drilling in North Dakota still targets the Bakken and Three Forks Formations, Helms said.

He said drilling permit activity has increased as more multi-well pads are being drilled and locations need to be built before winter weather starts.

He said good weather and additional crews has resulted in increased hydraulic fracturing activity and increased production

Helms also said the crude oil take away by pipeline now is less than 50 percent of daily production, but rail and truck transportation are adequate to keep up with the near term production projections.
This rig, shown in these photos taken Thursday by Glenda Baker Embry, is located just west of the Four Bears Bridge near New Town and off N.D. Highway 23 in the Four Bears Segment of the Fort Berthold Reservation. Lake Sakakawea is in the background in one of the photos where another well is shown in the distance at the far left. More than 30 rigs are actively drilling on the reservation.  
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Three Affiliated Tribes
404 Frontage Road
New Town, ND 58763