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Forum staff reports, Published March 31 2012

Interior chief to visit Dickinson, Oil Patch

BISMARCK – U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar will tour the Oil Patch and meet with the Three Affiliated Tribes during his visit to North Dakota next week.

Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., released details of the secretary’s visit, which includes stops in Dickinson and New Town.

Salazar will visit Dickinson and the surrounding area Monday to tour oil and gas development operations. He will visit a drilling rig producing oil from federal resources and tour a crude oil production facility where oil is processed, stored and transported to refineries across the country.

Salazar will also meet with federal employees and hear about the work they are doing to expand domestic oil and gas production in the region. He will also tour man camps for workers from around the country who come to North Dakota for jobs.

On Tuesday, Salazar will meet with the Three Affiliated Tribes on the Fort Berthold Reservation to discuss the economic benefits of domestic energy production for American Indian communities.

The Fort Berthold Reservation received more than $117.4 million in royalty revenue in 2011 – a 400 percent increase over the previous year – from the production of oil, natural gas and other hydrocarbons on Indian lands, the news release said.

Salazar’s trip is part of a three-state western tour to promote energy and tourism. He will also visit Nevada and California next week.