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  Tribes Recognize Oil Companies for Environmental Practices, Safety      

May 17, 2012
Minot Daily News

NEW TOWN Their safety and environmental practices earned two oil companies working on the Fort Berthold Reservation recognition from the Three Affiliated Tribes.

The tribes also recognized three oil companies for their community service in working with local communities and organizations on the reservation.

Awards were presented to the oil companies during the MHA Nation's Annual Bakken Oil & Gas Expo held May 8-9 at the 4 Bears Casino & Lodge's Events Center, west of New Town.

Enerplus Resources was presented with the Best Management Practices Award. The award is based on sound environmental practices implemented by Enerplus Resources during the past year.

Fred Fox, administrator of the tribal Energy Department, said the company has been aggressive in bringing sound new environmental practices onto their oil well sites. He said in order to contain gas contaminates, they placed housing on their flare stacks. The stacks will prevent gas from spilling out and contaminating the ground around the well site. Additionally, they are using hydro mulch rather than hay on the site.

Dan Larson, external affairs adviser for Enerplus Resources, said, "Enerplus is truly honored to accept the award. Enerplus has high standards for its operations and even higher expectations. We will continue working to maintain the high levels of performance that are highlighted by this award."

Marathon Oil received a Safety Award based on the number of accident-free operations it has conducted onsite since the company arrived on Fort Berthold. Marathon set up operations on the reservations in April 2008 and the award covers from that time through May of this year.

Terry Kovacevich, Bakken asset manager for Marathon, said they hold safety pre-meetings in their down time and they require employees to have their required safety-related training prior to going onsite. "We are appreciative to be recognized by the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation, and the hard work by all our employees make this possible," Kovacevich said.

WPX Energy, Petro Hunt and QEP Resources were recognized for their community service. The three were given Community Service Awards for their financial donations to local clubs and programs.

Geraldine Van Dyke, an 89-year-old Mandaree resident, also received a Community Service Award for her donation of $5,000 to the Mandaree Boys and Girls Club.

"We are all here together tribes, oil companies and the federal government," said Tex Hall, chairman of the Three Affiliated Tribes. "We need to work together so we do not leave such a large footprint for our children. We want to leave them sound environmental practices and financial stability and it is good to see the oil companies stepping up to do their part in safety and environmental practices and working with the tribes."

The tribal Energy Department, along with the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Bureau of Land Management, consulted on the awards.

Three Affiliated Tribes
404 Frontage Road
New Town, ND 58763