In the 1920’s, oil resource development began on the Navajo Nation. In 1923, a Navajo tribal government was established primarily for the Bureau of Indian Affairs to approve lease agreements with American oil companies, who were eager to begin oil operations on Navajo lands.
In 1933, Congress enlarged the Navajo Reservation with the Aneth Extension located in southeast Utah. The discovery of oil at Aneth and Montezuma Creek occurred in 1956, and since that time, oil companies have drilled 577 wells and pumped an estimated 428 million barrels of oil.
In January of 1992, Navajo Nation Chairman Peterson Zah’s administration issued a Navajo Nation Energy Policy. The policy was formulated with input from energy specialists, environmentalists, economic development specialists, lawyers, and political leaders of the Navajo Nation. The Navajo Nation Energy Policy observed that the Navajo Nation was resource rich, but it was neither obtaining proper value for its minerals nor, more importantly, participating in the energy industry as a business owner.
After 70 years of American oil companies conducting business activities on tribal lands, the Navajo Nation formed their own corporation, the Navajo Nation Oil and Gas Co., Inc. (NNOGC, Inc. or tribal company) under the 1993 Navajo Nation Corporation Code. This tribal corporation was created for the purpose of engaging in oil and gas production as a fully integrated, for-profit entity.
NNOGC opened a small office in Window Rock AZ and the first NNOGC Board of Directors consisted of four Navajos and two non-Navajo businessmen from the oil and gas industry. In 1995, Navajo Nation crude oil was being marketing by NNOGC. Initially, NNOGC was started using a $500,000 grant from the Navajo Division of Economic Development, but within three years (1996) the initial investment was repaid.
By 1997, the Navajo Nation Council approved a Federal Charter of Incorporation for NNOGC under Section 17 of the Indian Reorganization Act. By December 1997, the U.S. Secretary of Interior issued a Charter of Incorporation. On February 5, 1998 the Navajo Nation Council ratified the Charter. In that same year, the merger of the NNOGC tribal corporation and the NNOGC federal corporation was completed and today, NNOGC is a federal entity.
Since its creation, NNOGC has acquired and now operates an 87-mile crude oil pipeline, acquired and is continuing to acquire significant oil and gas working interests in the Greater Aneth, UT oil fields, and expanded its retail and wholesale business.
While NNOGC is still in a robust growth mode, it has returned significant royalty payments, taxes, right-of-way payments, lease payments, scholarships and other contributions to the Navajo Nation and host communities, which these entities use to provide employment and services to the Navajo people. The business activity of NNOGC contributes not only to the self-sufficiency of the Navajo Nation, but also to the energy security of the United States.
Chaco Trucking Facility
In January, after being idle for 8 years, Running Horse Pipeline LLC tested and operated the Chaco Trucking Facility with Savage Sweet Trucking company and I quote, “Three trucks were loaded in less than 1 hour total so the facility is fast fast fast.”
In May, NNOGC-RHPL worked with NTUA-Wireless Enterprise to improved its network infrastructure with a microwave link between the Montezuma Creek Utah Station and Morgan Lake Station.
NNOGC pays Navajo Nation over $22 million in bonuses and rent in connection with CBM project
NNOGC purchases 50% of Denbury's interest and 10% of Resolute's interest in the Greater Aneth Field for $137.5 million, adding approximately 1,000 BBLD to its portfolio
New Trucking Facility
In January, Running Horse Pipeline LLC built 3-lane trucking facility to market crude oil to competing markets where higher sales prices will be realized.
Greater Aneth Utah
NNOGC and Resolute obtain all of ExxonMobil’s producing properties in the Greater Aneth Area
Bureau of Indian Affairs
Bureau of Indian Affairs approves operating agreement for Cane Creek and Echo House Mesa areas; NNOGC and Resolute obtain all of Chevron’s producing properties in the Greater Aneth Area
Navajo Nation Council
Navajo Nation Council approves NNOGC operating agreement for Canal Creek and Echo House Mesa areas
Texas-New Mexico Pipeline
Purchased the Texas-New Mexico crude oil pipeline from Giant Industries in May
Navajo Nation Excise Tax
Negotiated fuel sharing agreement between the Navajo Nation and State of Arizona; and Navajo Nation Fuel Excise Tax adopted by the Navajo Nation in August.
NNOGC Oil and Gas Special Revenue Fund
With Speaker Edward T. Begay's sponsorship, had the Navajo Nation Council establish the NNOGC Oil and Gas Special Revenue Fund in September
Navajo Nation Fuel Distributorship program
Established the Navajo Nation Fuel Distributorship program. NNOGC obtained first fuel distributor’s license and began importing gasoline and diesel free of state taxes becoming the largest fuel distributor in the Nation.
New Standard for Service Stations
Acquired Window Rock Chevron Station and Kayenta Station sites; established a new standard for service stations on the reservation by building two new Chevron stations; Repaid $500,000 initial investment to Navajo Nation Division of Economic Development
Marketing Navajo Nation Crude Oil
NNOGC implements Division of Economic Development’s Royalty-in-Kind study; begins marketing of Navajo Nation crude oil