Indian Country TodayPhoto Credit: Indian Country Today Media Network

By Carol Berry   August 23, 2011

Nearly all the Blackfeet Nation’s 1.5 million acres are leased for oil and gas exploration, but on the west the tracts adjoin Glacier National Park, a bastion of pristine nature that is widely regarded as the antithesis of development and industrialization.

A 2006 resolution by the Blackfeet Tribal Business Council allows Denver-based Anschutz Exploration Corp. to drill exploratory wells on a 40,000-acre tract adjoining the Park’s eastern boundary, according to the Missoula, Montana Missoulian.

The region may contain some 109 million barrels of oil and 8.6 trillion cubic feet of natural gas as part of the Bakken Shale formation-related oil boom not only in Montana but also in in North Dakota, where the Three Affiliated Tribes reap millions from wells that tap the formation.

Anschutz is actively looking for oil and gas via exploratory wells, all of which are to be hydraulically fractured, according to Grinnell Day Chief, head of the Blackfeet Oil and Gas Bureau as quoted in HungryHorseNews.com.

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