First Nations Sign Oil Sands Deal With Taiwan Firm

Thursday, July 24, 2008 at 15:16



Five Saskatchewan First Nations have signed agreements with Taiwanese businesses to develop oil sands in the province’s northwest, as well as pursue other projects.


This comes on the heals of a trip to Taiwan by some of the chiefs, FSIN Chief Lawrence Joseph, and Ken Thomas, a former FSIN negotiator who brokered the $800 million deal.


Thomas says the agreements are very preliminary, but the idea is to have everything First Nations-run.


He says the process would include selecting the land, freezing it, turning it into reserve status, extracting oil, upgrading and refining the oil, and possibly selling it through First Nations-owned gas stations on reserves.


He says the Chinese Petroleum Corporation, one of the businesses that signed a memorandum of understanding, is a multi-billion dollar company that may end up refining any oil extracted here.


However, Thomas says all of the details have yet to be worked out.


Joseph says the provincial and federal governments are aware of these agreements and are supportive.