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Associated Press, Published August 17 2013

Oil regulator: Investors nervous about new rules

BISMARCK — North Dakota's top oil regulator says uncertainty surrounding federal policies on taxation and hydraulic fracturing is making investors nervous.

Department of Mineral Resources Director Lynn Helms also says proposed federal rules on hydraulic fracturing also could dampen oil activity on the Fort Berthold Reservation.

The reservation is in the heart of North Dakota's booming oil country and accounts for more than 20 percent of the state's oil production

Hydraulic fracturing involves pumping water, sand and chemicals underground to break open rocks and allow oil and gas to flow. Critics fear it causes environmental harm.

Helms says proposed federal rules would increase costs and time for oil drillers.