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Application for ND oil refinery approved, would be first built in US in 30 years

NEW TOWN, N.D. - An oil refinery, the first to be built in the United States in more than 30 years, is planned for the Fort Berthold Reservation.

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced approval of an application from the Three Affiliated Tribes of the Fort Berthold Reservation for the refinery.

Project developers of the MHA Nation Clean Fuels Refinery estimate it could create 800 to 1,000 construction jobs, up to 140 operations jobs, and millions in annual revenue to benefit the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara tribes and surrounding communities, according to the announcement.

The 13,000 barrel-per-day facility would refine Bakken crude oil into products including diesel fuel and propane.

The tribes requested that the Bureau of Indian Affairs accept a 469-acre piece of property into trust, with a proposed refinery on about 190 acres and the remaining acreage to be used for the production of feed for buffalo.