ND Oil & Gas Law

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ND Oil & Gas Law

Expanding oil and gas production in North Dakota is causing many mineral and surface owners to encounter questions that are new to them, such as, "what should I consider when negotiating a mineral lease," "what are my legal rights as a surface owner" and numerous similar questions. The purpose of this web site is to introduce the basics of mineral leasing, oil and gas exploration and development, and associated legal topics. The web site is organized into several sections or folders. Contact David Saxowsky (david.saxowsky@ndsu.edu) if you have questions.
Introduction
Oil and gas production involves several entities, such as the mineral owner, mineral developer and surface owner. The relationships and interactions among these entities often raise legal questions. This page overviews this web site by introducing some of the legal issues.
Exploration and Production
This page overviews the general process of exploring for and developing oil and gas resources. Understanding the general process should clarify the reason certain topics arise in leasing mineral rights or when using surface areas for oil and gas production.
Surface Rights & Mineral Rights
Surface rights and mineral rights are distinction property interests. This page introduces two legal rights as well as the relationship between them. A key point is that mineral rights dominate over surface rights -- sometimes to the disappointment of a surface owner who does not also own the mineral rights.
Industrial Commission Regulatory Role
The North Dakota Industrial Commission is responsible for overseeing the oil and gas industry in the state. This page introduces some of the Industrial Commission's responsibilities and authorities.
Considerations for Mineral Owners
These pages discuss a variety of issues mineral owners may want to consider as they review and negotiate an offer to lease their mineral interest to an oil company.
Considerations for Surface Owners
These several pages discuss ideas and concerns that surface owners may want to consider as their land is used for oil and gas exploration and production.
Owners of Mineral & Surface Rights
This page identifies several additional ideas an individual may want to consider if the individual owns both the mineral and surface rights.

Email: david.saxowsky@ndsu.edu

This material is intended for educational purposes only. It is not a substitute for competent legal counsel. Seek appropriate professional advice for answers to your specific questions.

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