Business

Pipeline giant Enbridge Inc. interested in leasing land from Osage Nation

Pipeline giant, Enbridge Inc., is interested in leasing land with the Osage Nation to construct a pipe yard as part of their Flanaghan South Pipeline Project, a nearly 600-mile crude oil pipeline that originates in Flanagan, Ill., and ends in Cushing, Okla.

Enbridge Inc., a major rival to the Keystone XL oil pipeline project, is interested in 105 acres of Osage restricted property off of Highway 99 to build a pipe yard on tribal lands. The newly created Osage Nation Energy Services, LLC, is working on the deal and discussed it at their board meeting Feb. 11.

“We hope to have the lease completed soon,” said Jill Jones, ONES board chair. Jones said to complete the deal Osage Nation Principal Chief John Red Eagle and the Bureau of Indian Affairs has to sign off on it, since the land is restricted. Jones said Bruce Cass, director of the Nation’s Tribal Development and Land Acquisition office, has been working with the BIA to “waive anything” that might interfere with the deal.

According to Enbridge.com, the Flanagan South Pipeline Project will cross Illinois, Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma. The majority of the pipeline will parallel Enbridge’s existing Spearhead crude oil pipeline right-of-way. Once finished the initial capacity of the pipeline will be 600,000 barrels per day, according to Enbridge.com.

According to the L.A. Times, Enbridge Inc. plans to spend $8.8 billion in the U.S. to transport greater volumes of petroleum to the Gulf Coast and other markets. The company will transport more petroleum than TransCanda would with its Keystone XL pipeline project from Alberta, Canada, to the Gulf Coast, according to the article.

Enbridge Inc. runs the longest pipeline system in Canada and the U.S.

Enbridge Inc. has done business before with Native American communities but has also roused their ire. According to an article by United Press International, an alliance of Canadian First Nations protested an annual Enbridge Inc. shareholder meeting in Toronto in May of last year, to stop an oil pipeline from being built that would run through their tribal territory. Even after the company offered the tribes a trust fund and promised economic benefits for their citizens, the tribal alliance said it wasn’t worth the risk, according to the article.

According to Enbridge.com, “Enbridge’s policy lays out key principles for Aboriginal relations, such as respect for traditional ways and land, heritage sites, the environment, and recognition of unique legal and constitutional rights. The policy is designed to ensure that Aboriginal and Native American people near our projects and operations receive sustainable benefits.”

Osage congress passes bills to fund ON Energy Services LLC

The Third Osage Nation Congress recently passed appropriation bills to fund the ONES board.

During its 4th Special Session Feb. 12, ONCA 13-08 (Edwards), congress unanimously passed an amendment to the boards and commissions act to provide $55,411 for start up costs to the ONES board, specifically for an attorney.

The second bill up for a vote, ONCA 13-09 (Edwards), unanimously passed to authorize all lease revenues collected through Sept. 30, 2015 from Enbridge Inc. or its subsidiaries as a result of leasing Osage Nation property to ONES, to be a capital contribution out of the general fund in the ON treasury for the board to use as a contribution to its business.

The ONES board is comprised of Jones (chair), Randy Standridge, Charles Hessert, former Osage congressmen Mark Simms and Eddy Red Eagle Jr.