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North Dakota tribe wants fee on wasted natural gas

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) -- Tribal leaders on an American Indian reservation in North Dakota want to make oil companies pay for burning and wasting natural gas.

The Three Affiliated Tribes outlined its plan to impose fees in a six-page document sent to oil companies. The tribe says companies would be required to pay royalties for ''flaring'' natural gas to compensate for lost revenue when the gas isn't brought to market.

The North Dakota Petroleum Council is questioning whether the tribe can impose fees.

Oil companies had been hesitant to drill on reservations due to complex tribal rules and tax uncertainty. But tribal officials signed a 2008 tax agreement giving the state power to regulate reservation oil production.

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