Tribal refinery ground breaking on May 8

MAKOTI The Three Affiliated Tribes will hold a groundbreaking ceremony for its refinery May 8 at 4:30 p.m. at the refinery site, west of Makoti.

The ceremony will be held immediately after the closing of the MHA Nation’s Annual Bakken Oil & Gas Expo. The expo is being held both May 7 and 8 at the 4 Bears Event Center, west of New Town.

Two chartered buses will take people from the casino to the refinery site, 25 miles east of New Town or 2 1/2 miles west of Makoti. The refinery site is off N.D. Highway 23. There are signs along the highway designating the site.

The groundbreaking ceremony is open to the public. A program is being planned. A meal will be catered by TDH of New Town.

Officially Thunder Butte Petroleum Services Inc., the clean fuels refinery will refine Bakken Formation crude oil at the site in southwest Ward County on the Fort Berthold Reservation.

The refinery is being planned as a facility that would be capable of refining 20,000 barrels per day of Bakken Formation crude oil into diesel fuel, propane and naphtha products, said Rich Mayer, CEO of Thunder Butte Petroleum Services Inc.

The tribes hope to have full construction on the refinery under way by early to mid-summer.

The refinery is conservatively estimated, and projected to cost $450 million.