WPX Energy (NYSE:WPX) is issuing $140,000 in grants for an affordable housing initiative and youth programs on North Dakota’s Fort Berthold Indian Reservation, which is home to the Three Affiliated Tribes.
WPX entered the area in late 2010, where it has more than 86,000 net acres for developing the Bakken and Three Forks oil shales. WPX has an estimated 47.8 million barrels of proved oil reserves underlying this acreage on an equivalent basis.
The grants include $100,000 for Governor Dalrymple’s North Dakota Housing Incentive Fund and $40,000 for the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Three Affiliated Tribes.
The housing effort is a public-private partnership that provides funding for developers who pledge to build affordable housing. WPX directed its contribution for future projects that are identified on the reservation.The Boys & Girls Club will use WPX’s grant to purchase a new passenger van for the organization. The area has six Boys & Girls Clubs in the Fort Berthold region. “Supporting worthy causes and engaging with our stakeholders is part of who we are,” said Bill Stenzel, WPX’s Bakken vice president. “As we’ve worked and talked and met with tribal leaders, we’ve consistently heard that these things are critical for families and children. “We’re very active in the Bakken Shale as an operator and we want to be a difference-maker civically, too. We’re embracing what we can do to support the quality of life,” Stenzel added. For the remainder of the year, WPX plans to use five drilling rigs on its North Dakota acreage. All five are new fit-for-purpose rigs. In 2011, WPX opened local offices in New Town and Minot and helped launch an industry cooperative to protect Lake Sakakawea. Company officials also attended the grand opening ceremony for the Elbowoods Memorial Healthcare Center on the reservation to present a $50,000 grant for emergency-related equipment.