Alberta's Stoney Nakoda First Nation says it has signed a "huge" deal with a Chinese petrochemical company to develop oil and gas on its land.
The First Nation is located 60 kilometres west of Calgary and has signed a joint venture agreement with Hong Kong-based Huatong Petrochemical Holdings Ltd. to explore and develop oil and gas deposits on Stoney Nation lands.
About 49,000 hectares of land will be explored and developed through the agreement, with Huatong providing all necessary funding — possibly hundreds of millions of dollars — and Nakoda Oil & Gas Inc. acting as the primary operator for the joint venture.
"The magnitude of this new agreement between Huatong and the Stoney Nations will hopefully bring us one step closer to self-sufficiency for our nation and people," said Bruce Labelle, chief of the Chiniki Nation, which is one of the Stoney Nakoda nations.
Large quantities of natural gas have been produced from the Jumping Pound gas field on the Stoney Nakoda Nation since the 1950s.
The Stoney Nakoda Nation includes the Bearspaw, Chiniki and Wesley tribes and is a signatory to Treaty 7.