MAKOTI, N.D. (AP) — Work is underway on a facility where oil will be shipped from a planned refinery on the Fort Berthold Reservation in northwestern North Dakota.
Crews this week are moving dirt for the transload facility, the first part of the Three Affiliated Tribes' $450 million Thunder Butte Petroleum Services Inc. refinery project west of Makoti, the Minot Daily News reported.
Crews will be doing grading work for about five weeks. The facility should be built by June, refinery CEO Rich Mayer said.
The tribes held a ceremonial groundbreaking for the refinery project last May and said construction would be done in several phases over two years. The plant will have the capacity to process up to 20,000 barrels of Bakken crude per day into diesel fuel and other products, and will create as many as 100 full-time jobs.
Planning for the refinery has been in the works for more than a decade. It will be the first built in the United States in more than 30 years, according to the federal Interior Department.
North Dakota has only one oil refinery, the Tesoro Corp. plant at Mandan, though refinery projects are in the works near the western oil patch communities of Dickinson and Trenton.