New tribal head to speed North Dakota natural gas pipeline talks to help curb wasteful flaring

The new leader of the Three Affiliated Tribes is pledging to speed negotiations on a proposed natural gas pipeline on tribal land in western North Dakota.

Oneok Inc. wants to build a 20-mile-long pipeline to capture natural gas from oil wells in Dunn County and move the gas to an existing pipeline network in neighboring McKenzie County. But the company needs permission to run a 1.8-mile stretch through land owned by the Three Affiliated Tribes.

The company and the tribes have been negotiating a deal for about a year. Officials say the pipeline would curb the wasteful burning of natural gas in the state by more than 10 percent.

Tribal chairman Mark Fox he's confident a deal can be worked out.