Navajo Nation Oil & Gas Company (NNOGC) is a federally incorporated oil and gas company wholly owned by the Navajo Nation. NNOGC has more than 100 employees with headquarters in St. Michaels, Ariz., and operations in New Mexico, Colorado and Utah. NNOGC owns and operates oil and natural gas interests, primarily in the San Juan Basin in New Mexico and the Greater Aneth, Tohonadla and Desert Creek fields in southeast Utah. The company also operates the Running Horse Pipeline in southeast Utah and northwest New Mexico and gas stations on the Navajo Nation under the Navajo Petroleum and Chevron brands.
NNOGC was established as a federally chartered Section 17 Corporation under authority granted by the Navajo Nation Council and began operations in 1998. The company contributed $49.6 million in direct and indirect payments to the Navajo Nation economy in 2013. The company supports numerous charitable organizations in the Navajo Nation and has contributed more than $1.4 million in scholarships in since 2003, including $275,000 in 2013.
History and Evolution of NNOGC
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.
|1995||NNOGC implements Division of Economic Development’s Royalty-in-Kind study; begins marketing of Navajo Nation crude oil
|1996||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
|1997||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.
||With Speaker Edward T. Begay's sponsorship, had the Navajo Nation Council establish the NNOGC Oil and Gas Special Revenue Fund in September|
|1999||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.
|2002||Purchased the Texas-New Mexico crude oil pipeline from Giant Industries in May
||Navajo Nation Council approves NNOGC operating agreement for Canal Creek and Echo House Mesa areas
|2004||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
|2006||NNOGC and Resolute obtain all of ExxonMobil’s producing properties in the Greater Aneth Area
|2012||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
|2013||NNOGC pays Navajo Nation over $22 million in bonuses and rent in connection with CBM project