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Meridian establishes Davis refinery offices in North Dakota

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Meridian Energy Group, Inc. is pleased to announce that it has closed on the purchase of the O'Brien Ranch, an agricultural and residential property located near the site of the company's Davis refinery, and to the communities of Fryburg and Belfield. The O'Brien property will be used as a conference and training centre, and as a residence for Meridian staff as they transition to the new company headquarters near Belfield, North Dakota, in the coming months.

Now that Meridian has received its Zoning Certificate and Conditional Use Permit from Billings County just last week, the Company is accelerating its move to Belfield. Actual field construction and installation of the Davis refinery will commence when the Company receives all of its remaining permits and approvals, principally the Permit to Construct from the Air Quality Division of the North Dakota Department of Health.

Tom Williams, Meridian's EVP of Planning and Permitting, and who sits on the Meridian Board of Directors, said of the O'Brien Ranch Purchase: "This is actually more of a Homecoming for Meridian. The largest shareholder of Meridian is the Davis Family Partners, which was formed to handle property asset acquisition and mineral rights arising from the family's original farming operation in Emmons County, North Dakota."

Williams and his cousin, Richard Palaniuk, are the current managing partners of Davis Family Partners. William Prentice, Meridian's CEO added: "Meridian was actually founded by the Davis Family Partners when Williams and Palaniuk, whose family originated in Billings and Stark Counties, were back in North Dakota on family business. They witnessed the extent of Bakken oil and gas development in western North Dakota, and saw the opportunity for creating value-added processing facilities. Tom and Richard identified and optioned the Davis Refinery site at the time. During the recent Billings County Rezoning and Conditional Use Permit hearing, there were many questions regarding the ownership of Meridian. It was very frustrating for us to not be able to respond, because Meridian is a closely held company. We have now been given permission by the Davis Family Partners to reveal Meridian's North Dakota roots," said Prentice.

Williams added: "The North Dakota population peaked in the 1930s, and since then families like ours have steadily lost their North Dakota sons and daughters to opportunities in other states. The Davis Family Partners, in developing Meridian Energy Group, Inc. and the Davis refinery project, are making some small contributions towards reversing that trend."

Palaniuk added, "I am an example of the migration of North Dakotans to other states as my grandfather moved to Springfield, Oregon in the 1920's where my father and I were born. Opportunities like the Davis refinery will help keep families from being torn apart like this – and this is the reason that all but a very few jobs at the refinery will be filled with local people."

Meridian will be staffing its headquarters in Belfield within the next 60 to 90 days.

Adapted from press release by Rosalie Starling

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