U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.


Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock () or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

DEMD Success Stories - Wind River Circle Ridge Transition

Circle Ridge Income Scenerios chartThe field produces about 2,000 bbls of oil a day with about 100,000 bbls of water per day which is disposed via surface discharge and disposal well injection.  

The Tribes, however, have assumed the operations of the Circle Ridge oil field, and with the state and federal taxes available for distributions, the Wind River Inter-Tribal Council (WRITC) can increase the royalty from 29% to 40%. The green line and bars plot this scenario. 2020-2022 annual revenue was and would be $5.3 M, $11.8 M, and $17.2 M with a three-year cumulative $34.3 M, and increase of $15.5 M over the $18.8 M expected under the lease with the lease. 

Map of oilfields in Wind RiverWith the assumption of the Circle Ridge oil field, the WRITC assumes control of the future of the field, cashflows, royalties, and operations.  

The Tribes, hiring a third party contractor, have achieved 97% of the historic production with 48 wells verses the previous operations with 81 wells. The Tribes are realizing almost all the revenue with 60% of the wells operating. Sixty percent of the wells operating equates to about 60-70% (There are fixed costs regardless of the number of wells producing) of the operating costs. The operating profits and free cash flow are expanded creating additional financial capacity to pay additional Tribal taxes, increase per capita payments, and/or invest in economic growth and jobs. The magnitude will take time to realize, but the Wind River Inter-Tribal Council has the authority in their sovereign status to make the decisions going forward. They did not possess this flexibility with a lease.  

The Tribes are realizing greater income and have the authority to hire Tribal members resulting in seven high-paying tribal jobs being created.

DEMD staff with Wind River council members and MI3 consultant

Photos of DEMD staff at Wind River and Circle Ridge oilfield

    Was this page helpful?

    This Page Was Not Helpful Because The Content:


    An official website of the U.S. Department of the Interior

    Looking for U.S. government information and services?
    Visit USA.gov