- The ND Oil and Gas Division does not calculate mineral values, review private lease information, or review any private contracts.
- Contact an oil and gas attorney for questions related to leasing issues:
- North Dakota Oil and Gas Leasing Considerations: NDSU Cooperative Extension Service Bulletin (Modified with the permission from the NDSU Extension Service - Last update: October 2006).
- North Dakota Department of Trust Lands offers a sample oil and gas lease and additional information, including the results of the most recent State Land Department quarterly oil and gas lease auction. (The ND Department of Trust lands does not calculate mineral values, review private lease information, or review any private contracts.
- The Surface and Minerals Management Divisions of the ND Department of Trust Lands are actively:
- Managing the leasing process for surface and mineral acres in the State
- Obtaining fair market returns or royalties for use of these resources
- Maintaining or improving the condition of the lands
- The Statement of Claim Form must be recorded in the office of the recorder in the county in which the mineral interest is located:
- North Dakota Recorders Information Network – List of ND Recorders
- Pursuant to NDCC 38-18.1-02 any mineral interest is, if unused for a period of twenty years immediately preceding the first publication of the notice required by section 38-18.1-06, deemed to be abandoned, unless a statement of claim is recorded in accordance with section 38-18.1-04. Title to the abandoned mineral interest vests in the owner or owners of the surface estate in the land in or under which the mineral interest is located on the date of abandonment. The owner of the surface estate in the land in or under which the mineral interest is located on the date of abandonment may record a statement of succession in interest indicating that the owner has succeeded to ownership of the minerals under this chapter.
- NDCC 47-16-39.1 includes the requirements for the payment of royalty interest owners entitled to payment from a producing oil or gas well. Sections of the statute cover the obligation to pay royalties, the requirement for payment of interest on late payments, and directs that resolution for failure is to be pursued in district court in the county in which the mineral interest is located:
- State of North Dakota Courts – List of Court Locations
- NDCC 38-08-06.3 includes the requirement for an information statement to accompany payments to royalty owners. Contents of these statements are outlined in the Royalty Statement Rules (NDAC 43-02-06); failure to include information that the commission prescribes by rule is guilty of a class B misdemeanor.
Frequently Asked Questions
You will need to contact the county recorder office for the county in which the lands reside. You may also need to file with them a statement of claim form. (Please be advised that this statement of claim form is available as a convenience. Any additional fees assessed in filing this form are not the responsibility of the DMR.)
You can find county recorder office contact information on the North Dakota Association of Counties web site.
The best way is to use the GIS Map Server.
Once the map server window has loaded, click on "Find Section" tab on the lower left side of the screen and put in your legal description. Click zoom to section and view your area of interest. There are several layers and tools you can use to further investigate your area of interest.
You can also conduct a "Well Search" in our data center by entering the Section - Township - Range or other identifiers to find more information about wells with a matching surface location.
Give our office a call or visit our help videos at the Department of Mineral Resources YouTube channel for more information.
Before a royalty check is issued, mineral interests must be determined and a title opinion may need to be completed. If all leases do not contain voluntary pooling language, a pooling hearing must be held and a pooling order issued by the Industrial Commission. Normally, you should receive your first royalty check within one to two months from the time the oil and gas is marketed.
The Oil and Gas Division has no information with regard to the leasing of any lands. Leases are recorded at the county recorder's office for the county in which the lands reside. You can find county recorder office contact information on the North Dakota Association of Counties web site. The North Dakota State Land Department Minerals Management Division web page has the results of the most recent State Land Department quarterly oil and gas lease auction which may be used as a reference. Just follow the link on the page to "Oil and Gas Leasing".
Section 47-16-39.1 of the North Dakota Century Code states in part:
If the operator under an oil and gas lease fails to pay oil or gas royalties to the mineral owner or the mineral owner's assignee within one hundred fifty days after oil or gas produced under the lease is marketed and cancellation of the lease is not sought, the operator shall pay interest on the unpaid royalties at the rate of eighteen percent per annum until paid, except that the commissioner of university and school lands may negotiate a rate to be no less than the prime rate as established by the Bank of North Dakota plus four percent per annum with a maximum of eighteen percent per annum, for unpaid royalties on minerals owned or managed by the board of university and school lands. Provided, that the operator may remit semiannually to a person entitled to royalties the aggregate of six months' monthly royalties where the aggregate amount is less than fifty dollars. The district court for the county in which the oil or gas well is located has jurisdiction over all proceedings brought pursuant to this section. The prevailing party in any proceeding brought pursuant to this section is entitled to recover any court costs and reasonable attorney's fees. This section does not apply when mineral owners or their assignees elect to take their proportionate share of production in kind or in the event of a dispute of title existing that would affect distribution of royalty payments; however, the operator shall make royalty payments to those mineral owners whose title and ownership interest is not in dispute.
All oil and gas hearings are open to the public.
If you wish to submit something on the record you must attend the hearing and sign the witness register, state your name, address, interest in the matter, qualifications, and the reason you want to appear.
The upcoming hearing dockets, as well as live hearing audio (when hearings are in progress) can be obtained here.
You can find oil and gas attorney information on the ND State Bar Association website or in the phone book Yellow Pages.
You can find ND state oil and gas tax FAQ's on the North Dakota Oil and Gas Tax FAQ page.
When an operator requests and is granted confidential (tight hole) status for a well, it restricts our ability to release information about the well. Section 43-02-03-31 of the North Dakota Administrative Code states in part:
All information furnished to the director on permits, except the operator name, well name, location, permit date, confidentiality period, spacing or drilling unit description, spud date, rig contractor, central tank battery number, any production runs, or volumes injected into an injection well, shall be kept confidential for not more than six months if requested by the operator in writing. The six-month period shall commence on the date the well is completed or the date the written request is received, whichever is earlier. If the written request accompanies the application for permit to drill or is filed after permitting but prior to spudding, the six-month period shall commence on the date the well is spudded.
All information furnished to the director on recompletions or reentries, except the operator name, well name, location, permit date, confidentiality period, spacing or drilling unit description, spud date, rig contractor, any production runs, or volumes injected into an injection well, shall be kept confidential for not more than six months if requested by the operator in writing. The six-month period shall commence on the date the well is completed or the date the well was approved for recompletion or reentry, whichever is earlier. Any information furnished to the director prior to approval of the recompletion or reentry shall remain public.
This means that the only information the agency may release during the confidential period is:
- the operator name,
- well name,
- permit date,
- confidentiality period,
- spacing or drilling unit description,
- spud date (when they commenced drilling),
- rig contractor,
- central tank battery number,
- any production runs (oil sold), or
- volumes injected into an injection well.
The date when information can be released for a well may be found in the confidential well list once the well has been spud.