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Surface and Mineral Owners Information

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This page has been developed to help surface and mineral owners find out more information with regard to many of the questions that come with the exploration and production of oil and gas in North Dakota.

Here you will find the notice to surface owners concerning the right of compensations for damages caused by oil and gas operations. The North Dakota Department of Trust Lands website offers examples of oil and gas leases and pooling agreements. It also has the results of the most recent State Land Department quarterly oil and gas lease auction. You may also view the royalty statement rules (43-02-06 NDAC), the obligation to pay royalties (47-16-39.1 NDCC), and the termination of mineral interests statute (38-18.1 NDCC) along with a statement of claim form. A statement of claim filed after July 31, 2009, by a person other than the owner of record of the mineral interest is not effective to preserve a mineral interest unless accompanied by a reference to the name of the record owner under whom the owner of the mineral interest claims. A statement of intention to succeed to the ownership of mineral interest form is also available for surface owners wishing to claim abandoned minerals under their property. (Please be advised that the statement of claim and succession claim forms are available as a convenience. Any additional fees assessed in filing these forms are not the responsibility of the DMR.)

An updated version of a 1981 NDSU Cooperative Extension Service Bulletin entitled North Dakota Oil and Gas Leasing Considerations (3MB) is now available. This PDF document has been modified with the permission of the NDSU Extension Service.

The ND Petroleum Council has developed informational web pages for both mineral and surface owners. Many oil companies have partnered with the ND Petroleum Council to create a web page with operator contact information for anyone that has questions about royalty payments that you are getting or think you should be getting. Please note that not all oil companies will be listed there.

In addition, the ND Department of Agriculture has a Mediation Service to assist surface owners and energy companies in resolving "split estate" surface damage disputes. For more information, go to the North Dakota Mediation Service web page.

The National Ground Water Association (NGWA) and the Ground Water Protection Council (GWPC) have made available a water-testing brochure for household water well owners living near oil or gas development and completion activities, including hydraulic fracturing. The brochure walks water well owners through how to go about getting their water tested prior to oil and gas activities to establish baseline water quality. It then provides guidelines for retesting the water after oil and gas development and completion activities. Addressed in the brochure are issues such as "chain-of-custody” testing to ensure unbiased, accurate sampling and test results, what constituents to test, what to do if one’s water quality changes, and where to get more information. The brochure is not intended to provide guidance for regulation. It is merely designed to provide generalized information to landowners. The information it contains has not been designed to cover every unique circumstance of local geology or geochemistry. Therefore, it should be used only as guidance for landowners.

If you would like to see if there is a well or permit issued on or near your minerals and you know the Section, Township, and Range the lands are located in, you can search on the Find My Well web page.


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