N.D. shifts ownership of $120 million in mineral rights to private entities

Oil well
Oil well(Photo Courtesy: Cliff Naylor)
Published: Oct. 5, 2022 at 5:18 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Private mineral owners and oil and gas operators in North Dakota have reason to celebrate.

This week, the state Board of University and School Lands announced the completion of Part 1 of the River Acreage Adjustment Project. The result was about $120 million to private mineral owners and oil and gas operators east of Highway 85.

“So, if you think about the boundary of the river, the new survey kind of shrunk that boundary a little bit, so the state lost acreage. And since we lost acreage, we had to refund oil and gas companies,” said Trust Lands Commissioner Joe Heringer.

The state surveyed the Missouri River valley and determined a new high water mark, which changed the boundaries of state and private ownership on both sides. The total project, which includes 45 oil and gas leases west of Highway 85, is expected to be completed by the end of the year.