To provide and support education and outreach opportunities related to the petroleum industry, develop and advance quality of life initiatives, and promote and enhance the conservation heritage of North Dakota.


The North Dakota Petroleum Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, was founded by the North Dakota Petroleum Council in 2018 to support our state and the communities in which we operate. Through outreach programs, scholarships and education opportunities, and environmental stewardship programs, we strive to help our neighbors make our communities better places to live, work and raise a family.

The Foundation is supported by revenues from the Williston Basin Petroleum Conference, as well as donations from the North Dakota Petroleum Council, the Foundation’s Board of Directors, industry companies and employees, grants from the Oil and Gas Research Council and Outdoor Heritage Fund and others.


Beginning in 1978 with the creation of its Teacher Education Seminar, the North Dakota Petroleum Council (NDPC) has continually designed and developed its various outreach programs in pursuit of its mission. Those outreach programs have been exponentially expanded in the last 10 years to include such educational opportunities as the Energy of North Dakota Teacher Education Seminar, Energy Career Awareness Partnership, and scholarships to those seeking petroleum-related degrees.

At the dawn of the “Bakken Boom” in 2008, the NDPC started the Bakken Rocks CookFests to bring communities and industry together to learn more from one another in a fun, friendly atmosphere. Since then, its community engagement activities have evolved to include the Battle of the Bakken Blood Drive, Fueling Fun Toy Drive, and the Code for the Road initiative.

Beginning in 2012, the NDPC initiated environmental stewardship programs with the creation of Pick Up the Patch!, an award-winning program that brought communities and industry together to keep communities and roadways litter-free. Since then, its stewardship programs have grown to include the Bakken Classic Fishing Derby, a charitable fishing tournament that raises funds for habitat and wildlife projects, and the Planting for the Future program dedicated to providing funding and assistance in creating habitat through large-scale tree plantings in cooperation with landowners.

As the NDPC’s philanthropic efforts continued to expand, the idea for the Foundation was born. The Foundation will be committed to continuing these programs and engaging industry and communities to further enhance North Dakota’s educational opportunities and quality of life.

Board of Directors & Leadership

Kathy Neset, Chairman


Lawrence Bender, Vice-President

Fredrikson & Byron, P.A.

Ron Ness, CEO / Executive Director

North Dakota Petroleum Council

Josh Demorrett


Jeff Herman


Joel Noyes


Craig Smith

Crowley Fleck

Danette Welsh