Burke County, ND - Oil & Gas Discussion archives


Our well has just gone on the Confidential list. Do we, as mineral owners, get paid for the 6 months that the well is confidential? At the end of that period? Thanks for any help you can give.


Ms. Bunting, you do get paid for the 6 months the well was on the confidential list, if it was producing. The satate says the operator must pay within 150 days of first sales or the operator owes you interest.....but this only applies if you have excellent title. The least little blemish on your title and they can claim that your royalty payment was delayed because of title problems and they do not owe you interest. It is best to have any probates done and the deed to the property in your name. Your first check should be the accumulation of all previous production, less a month or two that payment always lags behind on oil and possibly longer on gas. I hope this helps.


Thank you Mr. Kennedy. That helps a great deal. Do the companies keep plugged wells on the confidential list just to keep that information away from shareholders?


Ms. Bunting, they do pronounce a well plugged or producing after they are done with it but you have to wait until it has left the confidential list before you find out which one it is, plugged or producing, unless you follow the daily reports looking for sales of oil. Another thing to factor in is that many wells were put on true confidential status when they drilled to total depth. For some wells the confidential period expires before they are fracked/completed. Wells that have not been drilled yet are really just permits which automatically have confidential status because there is nothing to report and can remain confidential for years until they are actually drilled and the operator requests confidential status. The operators do not always file paperwork on time, because usually the worst they will get is a reminder letter and even if they did get fined it would be a pitifully small fine, probably not as bad as the fine for doing 11 miles per hour over the speed limit. The funny thing is if the well is better than average the oil company themselves will often give a press release, for stockholder benefit. IP's for any well are a slippery slope, some operators choke their wells and bring them on slow, other operators may want to put on a show for stockholders and while the slow well IP was produced through a choke smaller than the diameter of my pinky finger, the showy well IP may have been through a 2 inch pipe. There is no standard for IP's, the operator can do them how they like, including taking one hours production and extrapolating what the well would produce at that rate for 24 hours. There is no standard. I do not follow the daily reports because I know there is oil in my acres and the news, good or bad, will not change if I knew it a couple of months sooner. Dealing with my 10 producing and two more drilling wells has become a more than a part time job. I hope you get a great well.


Sally, I wouldn't sign anything until they can tell you what they want to lease. Since it is Continental, I think it most likely that the landman company is Diamond Resources that I know committed fraud. If you have not leased or filed a statement of claim in the last 20 years, you need to file a statement of claim as soon as possible. I won't deal with Diamond at all. If you deal with Diamond, do it only by mail so you have a record of everything.


Can anyone help me understand what OXY is going for in these new cases on the hearing docket?

Proper spacing for the development of the Dimond-Bakken Pool, Burke County, ND, redefine the field limits, and enact such special field rules as may be necessary. OXY USA Inc.

Thanks for any help you can provide.


Sally, lawyers are swamped, conflicted, or on retainer. If you are dealing with Diamond Resources, I would only deal with them by mail so you have a record of everything. If you just need a lawyer to look at a lease you can get one in any state to look at it for you, probably cheaper, faster and paying more attention. Maybe even looking after your best interest.


Sally, Diamond tried to lease my brother and I for 8 months, my brother finally accepted the lowball offer and Diamond recorded a memorandum of lease for him. I would not lease to Diamond/Continental so Diamond went to court and claimed they could not find EITHER of us [after recording a memo of lease with my brother] petitioning for an emergency mineral trust that the county treasurer could sign for the lowball amount that Diamond was offering. Diamond gave no affidavit of due dilligence. Diamond got the court to wave notice in the papers because we still have family and friends in the area. Does this sound kind of raw? Some lawyers I have talked to, virtually all, say they could help me get the money from the trust [ which I could do myself], say that for just a few thousand dollars worth of billable hours they could negotiate a decent lease for me with Diamond. What's really needed is Diamond off my acres, and I will take it from there. You can find court cases online for Diamond, read them to find out about what they are up to. I kept phone records showing calls from Diamond to my brother and I. The address and phone number is still the same, for my brother still the same as the memorandum Diamond filed. Diamond could have called or written us at any time, so they did not "lose" us. Diamond also tried to lease us again after setting up the trust! There is much more that I will not go into, for brevity. It should be slam dunk, open and shut, but it's difficult to find a lawyer that is not conflicted, on a retainer, or is more worried about making someone mad than looking after their clients interest. It's a jungle out there. Protect yourself at all times, deal by mail so you have written records. Best of luck with your minerals.


Sally, sorry I didn't answer all of your questions. You can search for other operators interest in the area of your minerals through the NDIC site by finding wells on the GIS server map and doing well searches by selecting find well on the home page and inputting the legal description. It will tell you who the operator is. There are also independent companies that lease, like Empire oil, companies that like to participate in someone elses well on a few acres.

Other companies may be interested after they drill but if you are pooled the game is over, you can either lease to the operator, become a non-consenting carried interest or sell out.

Sundance Oil and Gas may be interested in leasing you. Make alot of calls because it doesn't hurt to ask. I will gurantee that a landman that thinks that you are only dealing with him/her is harder to negotiate with, after all, if they know they are the only game in town, they need not make any concessions and you will eventually wear yourself down and accept their offer, they don't have to do a thing.

It's a landmans job to lease acres, cheaply if he can, dear if he must. The landmans employer, needs to lease your acres or they won't be the one to make the money off them, someone else will.


Sally, if you look on the GIS server map on the NDIC O&G site it should show all permits for wells yellow/orange dot, well /black dot w/horizontal black dot with line, green circle DRL status which is fracking or other work being done, rig symbol is self explanatory. The map should have a date in the lower right hand corner and the information should be less than 10 days old. If you select find section from the menue on the left side ,bottom and input your legal description, then where it says buffer below that check the box and input 15 or 20 miles and click zoom to section, you should be able to see what is in your area. Whew! that's a rough 3 run on sentences!

All permits are confidential so all wells should be on the confidential list. The operator can... but does not have to request confidential status for their well, so a well can disappear from the confidential list without ever having a date reported for when it will come off the confidential list. Operators usually do ask for confidential status because it is never [to my knowledge ] denied and cost nothing, it's free for the asking and operators do request it even for water wells and salt water disposal wells.

Sally, take anything you hear from a landman with a block of salt until you can get independant confirmation. Landmen are used to telling people anything they need to hear to sign that lease and send it in, they probably say what ever is necessary so they can hang up and get back to paying work, they are also human and make simple mistakes. I only put stock in information that I gather myself from the state or other sources and I have even called the state and had them say oops, we'll fix that right away. Once you get used to looking in on things it only takes a couple minutes every couple of days to do so.


I called every attorney I could find in western nd in 2011. Continental would never answer emails or phone calls. Every firm I called said that it would be a conflict of interest for them to represent me. Hamm and continental own North Dakota. A firm from out of state leased all if our available minerals in Burke, divide, Sheridan Williams and montrail. Last year. I would never lease to continental!


I am getting 1099's out of wells in Burke but I need a title search done to know exactly what I have there. Anyone recommended for that? Thanks.


Last year we leased our available mineral acres in Burke, divide, Sheridan and montrail to Kelly energy. The people at Kelly have helped me so much. I live in Arkansas. Dad was from ND. Most of our land is in divide- and I had leased to diamond or continental. Continental is a mess. I now call Kelly when our leases are up for renewal.


I need assistance....I have 150 plus mineral acres in Burke County I am hoping to lease. The land is under my mother name she passed away I am the executor for her. The existing lease that was one the land expired and I would like to negotiate a new lease but no one has contacted me. Other then 1 company that only wants to lease 60 acres. Short of getting an attorney involved how can I attract land men to my acreage?


Mr. Johnson, other than not being for the entire 150 acres is their something wrong with the offer to lease the 60 acres? I hate to suggest it but the lease on that 60 acres could run it's course and expire before you find a lease for the whole 150 acres.

Like you, I would rather lease the whole thing if you are going to lease but the opportunity we want doesn't always come and you have to decide whether or not to take what is offered. Nothing says you couldn't lease the other 90 acres later if the opportunity arises.


Sorry, Mr. Johnson. I hit add comment before I got to the meat of your question. I could look to see who is operating in your general area if you could give a legal description, so you would at least know who to talk to.


Thank you to R W Kennedy for all the recent advice!


We did lease to Continental, we got the money, we are pleased with the price they gave us, no complaints here. Sorry to hear of so many problems with them. This was our third lease.


Recently I have been approached to sale my mineral rights in Burke County. I know there is a working well half mile from my land. Wondering how this works, is it common to be asked to sale? What type of prices are typical?


My family has some property in 163-92-27, 34 & 35. I believe that this might be part of the Rival Unit; I also believe that we may have some additional property in the Lignite Unit.

From searching the government records, it does not appear that there is much going on on these sections, but I wondered whether we are still entitled to royalty from production on other parts of these two units.

It looks like that there may have been some hearing before the ND Industrial Commission in the 1980s to possibly withdraw its approval for unit operation, but I really cannot tell what happened to that effort. There may have been some earlier production by PanAm or Atlantic-Richfield, but my recollection on that point is a bit vague.

Does anyone have any scuttlebutt (and, yeah, I have probably been remiss in not paying more attention to this over the years).

Thanks much.