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Chief of the Chiniki Nation Bruce Labelle. Image courtesy of Alberta Aboriginal Relations/Youtube.

Alberta-based Nakoda Oil and Gas signed an exploration and development deal with Hong-Kong based Huatong Petrochemical Holdings, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) said Monday.

The value of the deal hasn’t been disclosed.

Huatong will provide all necessary funding for the project, estimated to cost hundreds of millions of dollars, CBC said.

Nakoda is owned by all three tribes of the Stoney Nakoda First Nation: the Bearspaw, Chiniki and Wesley tribes.

“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,” Chief of the Chiniki Nation Bruce Labelle told CBC.

Huatong will explore and develop gas and oil deposits on the Stoney Nation’s lands, about 49,000 hectares located 37 miles west of Calgary.

Huatong is a privately held company and was incorporated December 2013.

Nakoda will be the primary operator for the partnership.

According to Calgary Economic Development, Alberta produces almost 70 percent of Canada’s crude and nearly 80 percent of its natural gas.

The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers estimates that oil production in Western Canada, where Alberta is located, will reach 3.7 million barrels per day by 2025 and that the region will account for nearly five per cent of global oil production by 2025.

The Nakoda’s land is home to the Jumping Pound gas field, owned and operated by Shell.

Jumping Pound produces methane, natural gas liquids, condensate and sulphur.

Nakoda said that Jumping Pond has produced significant quantities of gas since operations started in 1951.