Latest bout over North Dakota royalties goes to oil industry

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FARGO, N.D. (AP) — The latest bout of legal wrangling over the collection of North Dakota oil and gas royalties has been won by the energy industry, over a bill it promoted and was passed by the 2021 state Legislature.

A state judge last week ruled in favor of the law that limits how much interest companies have to pay for unpaid oil and gas royalties. It also sets a statute of limitations on how far back they have to pay.

The decision came after a state agency argued that the legislation is unconstitutional.

A Fargo attorney who has successfully argued oil and gas mineral rights cases said last month the issue is likely headed to the state Supreme Court, regardless of the opinion by McKenzie County Judge Robin Schmidt.

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