(KXNET) — As President Joe Biden prepares to visit Saudi Arabia this week, our investigation into the Legacy Fund is taking a closer look at investments the State Investment Board is making in the oil and gas industries, particularly when it comes to our foreign competitors, including Saudi Arabia.

On June 28, KX News submitted a Freedom of Information Act Request for “the current list of all foreign investments that are being held in the Legacy Fund, sorted by nation.”

These records that we received on July 5 document how our tax dollars continue to flow out of state, and how the Legacy Fund is investing in our foreign competitors in the oil and gas industry.

This week, Biden is expected to ask the Saudis to increase their daily oil production during his trip to the Middle East this week.

Economists say The U.S. needs Saudi Arabia’s help to keep the oil flowing after the tap from Russia dwindled following the invasion of Ukraine.

However, Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis Energy Financial Analyst Clark Williams-Derry says that it’s both Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman who hold the greatest leverage over global oil prices.

“The people who control the global market are two psychopaths,” said Williams-Derry.

But, North Dakota taxpayers have already inadvertently been doing their part to help the Saudi government drill for more oil.

Our most recent records request shows, once again, that our tax dollars in our Legacy Fund are still flowing to the Saudi Arabian Oil Company and other Middle Eastern and South American oil and gas companies.

As of July 5, The State Investment Board had invested more than $15 million in just these seven oil and gas-producing foreign entities:

Saudi Arabia – Saudi Arabian Oil Company
Mexico – Petroleos Mexicanos
China – China National Offshore Oil Company
China – Sinopec
Brazil – Petrobras Global
Kuwait – Equate Petrochemical
Qatar – Qatar Petroleum

All of these countries own or control all of their oil and gas production. Yet North Dakota taxpayers are helping to enrich these countries with millions of dollars from our Legacy Fund.

Fargo attorney Luke Heck has been investigating Legacy Fund’s foreign holdings for two years.

“It’s ludicrous that we are investing in our foreign competitors’ oil as opposed to investing locally, or in our own oil infrastructure.”

Heck says the State Investment Board is not representing what the people of North Dakota want from their Legacy Fund, particularly during this critical time of oil shortages.

“What essentially, the investment board in our state is telling us as North Dakotans, yeah, you’ve gotta pay $4.50 at the pump, but don’t worry, we’re getting great return on investment with the Saudi government oil and gas investments that we have in our Legacy Fund. So, we’re making a great profit, but you’re never going to see it because it would require us to open up an in-state investment program which still isn’t happening,” said Heck.

We will be following Biden’s trip to Saudi Arabia closely in the coming days.

As of today, our legacy fund holds millions of dollars worth of investments in government-controlled oil
companies that are direct competitors to our own producers right here in North Dakota.

In the coming days, we will reach out to members of the State Investment Board regarding these investments.