McLean County Oil Activity - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

McLean County Oil Activity

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As the oil boom pushes eastward, so do the concerns.
Surface rights, mineral rights and lease agreements are a few at the top of the list in McLean County.
Ag Reporter Sarah Gustin takes you to 1 community on the outskirts of the oil play.

It's a pressing question in the oil industry--who gets the money?
(Dave Saxowsky / NDSU Agribuisness and Applied Economics) "It's a new experience for a lot of us. when you are encountering something for the first time, it's going to take a little bit of education."
Dave Saxowsky is one NDSU professor answering landowners oil questions.
(Dave Saxowsky / NDSU Agribuisness and Applied Economics)"There's a lot of people just beginning to learn the basics. The idea that the mineral rights can be owned separate from the surface rights, mineral rights can be divided among several mineral owners. How do those relationships conducted? To understand that the mineral owners have the right to proceed with the mineral lease and those mineral rights can then be developed."
Saxowsky says whether you own the black gold, the surface, or just rent that piece of ground, you're entitled to a piece of the pie.
Don Giffey farms and ranches west of Garrison, on the outskirts of oil country.
(Don Giffey / Producer) "We can see the east edge of it. We can see some gravel trucks and service trucks that come by. There is that we know of two companies that have bought abandoned farm steads or unoccupied farmsteads for services units, so yeah, just a little bit."
Like many producers and landowners on the fringe of oil play, Giffey understands both the good and bad of rigs and wells.
(Don Giffey / Producer) "When you hear some of the Divide County, McKenize, Williams County stories, yeah that makes you worried a little bit. Some of the crime that increases all those different things, but you can't blame that onto the oil people. They are good people. yeah, sure you are worried about it. But I am also a mineral owner, so I could do things with that and my grand kids could do things."
Giffey says he's not worried about his crops.
It's the roads and traffic that comes at an extra cost.
(Sarah Gustin / sgustin@kxnet.com) "Saxowsky says for many it's the unknown that's the biggest worry. His best piece of advice, be patient when it comes to understanding and mineral rights, as well as your lease agreement."
(Don Giffey / Producer) "You hear people say if you get a check in the mail, that really helps an awful lot."
Saxowsky says your local county courthouse is your most trusted source of information.
Because what the deed reads is how the money will be divided.

Saxowsky says some of the largest mineral owners are the state of North Dakota, federal government and some of the long standing industries that have been in North Dakota since it's development.
Currently there are 205 rigs drilling North Dakota.
2 of those are in McLean County.

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