Lawsuits Filed By Mineral Rights Owners - - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Lawsuits Filed By Mineral Rights Owners


With more and more natural gas being burned off at well sites across the state, mineral rights owners now want to be compensated.

Lawsuits have been filed by ten mineral rights owners who say they've lost millions of dollars because oil companies are burning off this valuable resource.

<<"We have pretty prolific flaring in North Dakota compared to the rest of the country," Attorney Derrick Braaten said.

Not only is North Dakota producing a lot of oil, its also producing a lot of natural gas.

But 30% of that natural gas is being wasted.

"They've been flaring gas for the past six years during the oil boom and they haven't been paying royalties or taxes to the State Government on it, and they need to be paying those royalties," Braaten said.

Derrick Braaten is one of the attorneys representing ten mineral rights owners who want to be paid for this valuable resource that is being burned off.

"Obviously there's going to be an economic benefit to royalty owners and to the state for the taxes if those are paid," Braaten said.

Kari Cutting with the North Dakota Petroleum Council says oil companies are compliant with state law.

"They have approval from the North Dakota Industrial Commission to be flaring for a certain time frame and certain quantity and those are the laws they comply with," Vice President of the North Dakota Petroleum Council Kari Cutting said.

Cutting says oil companies don't want to flare natural gas.

But a major roadblock halting the gas to get to market, is the infrastructure in gas gathering pipelines and gas processing plants.

"The industry to date has invested six billion dollars in that infrastructure and will continue to invest as much as it takes to get that valuable resource to market," Cutting said.

"If the court rules in our favor it is going to provide an economic incentive for the companies to get the gas gathering systems and infrastructure hooked up and that would eventually slow down and stop the flaring of gas," Braaten said.

Right now around 1500 wells are flaring gas in North Dakota without any connections to pipeline and processing plant infrastructure.>>

If you would like to pursue a claim you can contact Derrick Braaten by visiting and click on the "Contact Us" link to fill out a brief questionnaire.


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