McKenzie County, ND - Oil & Gas Discussion archives


Mr.Kennedy…I for one would like to express my personal appreciation for your comments and the generosity and style of your many comments on a wide variety of questions.Many come from a novice like myself,while others are much more experienced in the ways of the oil and gas business.You treat all ‘fair and square’.Thank you.



Linda, I believe the state is just trying to get in front of a huge groundswell. The state allowed the operators to flare for one year expecting the operators would act in a prudent and responsible manner which has not happened. Royalty and taxes are going up in smoke to the tune of a half billion dollars last year… IF all the gas flared was dry gas, price set by Henry Hub. My gas which is sold is very rich with a BTU factor of 1.41 and $5 a mcf is the low end. I have seen over $9 per mcf at times. Even with this new regulation, the total amount of gas flared each year is expected to increase even if there is a percentage decrease in flared gas.

A large part of the problem was the state allowing gas to be flared for 1 year in which time gas production dropps and at the lower production and the ridiculously low value placed on the gas, the operator can claim that it is not economically feasable to connect a gathering line and gather the gas. I blame the state. How could they be so naive?

I believe that the operators get to claim the flared gas as a loss and of course they do not want to invest in gathering lines which might not pay for themselves for years when the money could be more profitably spent on drilling more wells from which they recoup the cost in a much shorter time.

The problem starts at the top. Helms, the O&G Division Comissioner has stated that “Flaring of gas is not waste because the oil is worth so much more”. With poor logic like that, what else could one expect? Some mineral owners might want to look more charitably at environmentalists who are pushing to at least cut down on this waste, they may well put money in your pocket.


You are ole so right r w…what a waste! I’m glad they are not doing nearly that much flaring here in OK but it may increase as there gets to be more and more gas to share the pipeline. In Stephens Co. in Ok where our minerals are it seems like flaring has really decreased as they are getting DCP on the ball where they are handling more of the gas. As you probably remember we have a friend who has minerals in this county and that’s the reason I’m following it. After about 2 years, two lawyers and lots of money spent she has finally gotten hers into her name. She’s using an Oklahoma attorney now after the ones in ND let her down. Hopefully she will get her back money now. Didn’t you or someone tell me that ND doesn’t have to pay that interest 12% or 6% like they do in OK if they are late with your money? If so, no wonder it has taken her 2 or 3 times as long to get any funds!


Linda, there is 18% interest per year past due but that is only if you have marketable title. With title that is not marketable there is no interest owed, not even the 6% as in Oklahoma with title that is not marketable. Sorry.


I need a little help with my stipulation of interest form. There are 15 of us cousins who own different percentages of our inherited mineral rights. I have all the percentages figured out and they add up to 100%. There is a part on the form: the undersigned are the owners of an undivided_______ interest in the oil, etc. What do I put in the blank? I thought I could just leave that part out and simply put undivided interest? Also the oil company wanted this stipulation for just 2 of our sections, but I decided while I was doing it, I would put all of our sections on it. Is that a good idea? Otherwise I figured the next section in question, they would want it all over again. This way all of the sections will be recorded.


Bonnie, I think you could express what you own as a fraction, say a 1/50th interest or put a percentage if it won’t reduce easlily to a fraction. I would not try to stipulate for all spacing/ sections as things change. I think you should do each one separately as needed. If nothing changes, save a copy of the previous stipulation as boilerplate for the next one.


XTO ( which has been a HUGE pain in my ample behind) has been going back and forth with me for months, not wanting to pay me what is owned for my mineral rights. Now they are saying that the deeds I have obtained in my name aren’t really marketable title and they don’t really matter. WHAT??? For months they told me I need to get the deeds transferred into my name and now that I have done that they are telling me that it just doesn’t matter. Is this possible?


Janie, I suppose theoretically there could have been a mistake by the probate court granting you approval of title, but I believe the deeds in your name give you title until the operator proves otherwise. I think you need to have your lawyer file a complaint with the court and summon XTO to answer. If you had completed a quiet title action instead of a probate I don’t think the operator could avoid paying you.


I could not agree more Suzanne. I am fortunate enough that there is enough there financially for me to fight. That is not always the case. Before I realized what I had I started here and learned enough to start the fight for myself and my family. I wish there was a place to go to take classes to learn all that I, as a mineral rights owner, need to know to protect myself and the interests of my family.


I’m not fully informed in your situation Janie but I personally would not rule out that they want to keep your funds low if this is for the unleased acres.

I mean if they pay you all that back royalty, the incentive to sign a lease and give up being an owner in the future would look like small potatos. As long as they keep you spending without receiving any benefit, there is hope you will lease.

In any case, they are keeping and using your (and others) money interest free in the interim, which I am sure breaks their hearts.


If those wells are paid off, you could challenge any risk penalty and being that the wells are paid off, have a good chance of winning.

The operator would get reimbursed for your portion of the wells as he would if you participated in advance of drilling but they could owe you considerably more than had you leased, or been non-consent with the operator having taken the actions to be entitled to the risk penalty.

Another thing I have noticed dealing with oil companies seems to be the motto of “don’t put off to tomorrow what you can reasonably put off to two years from now, unless it will show a profit”.

I have a small typographical error in my chain of title so my operator can claim with a straight face that they can’t find my interest on one well, even though I’m sure they know it’s mine. It will all come out in the wash. It’s such a small interest with only one well at the moment that i am waiting for my brother who has an equal interest to shoulder his part of the burden of getting the error fixed. The few thousand dollars from that one early well isn’t going to break either of us. If they scratch dirt there again though for a well with up to date completion techniques, I’m sure my brother would ask what is taking ME so long.


What amazes me daily is the fact that these oil companies have no problem telling complete lies. Some of the people I’ve talked to have been able to say outrageous things and not think anything of it. The latest has been that having the deeds in my name doesn’t mean anything and that oil companies only need to paid interest on new wells that they don’t pay off in time, not on any delays in payment after title has been proven. They get very put off when they realize someone actually knows the truth. I guess growing up in North Dakota I tend to easily trust, but I’m not stupid.


Janie, there are classes out there. I just finished taking the full set of seven classes for royalty owners through the TCU Energy Institute. They are held various places across Texas, but focus on minerals anywhere. University of Denver holds classes (I think it is them). PDI (Professional Development Institute) University of North Texas holds a great National Oil & Gas Royalty Conference in Houston in the fall. I went last year and it was one of the best I have attended. Here is the link:…

Also, the National Association of Royalty Owners is a good resource. They have some fantastic books on their website and a training class for certification for Minerals Management.

There may be some through the North Dakota NARO chapter as well. Go to their website and see. The more mineral owners learn, the better we can protect our rights and our family legacies.


University of Denver Land Management Royalty owner class description. I haven’t taken this set, but have a friend who has taken many of them. Taught by the professor who taught part of the TCU classes, and he is great.


Thank you RW. I have been working so hard to get to this point that having them say it’s still not enough is a slap in the face. I will be calling my attorney Monday morning. I am not going to take this lying down.


I believe these acres are unleased. I have been at this for 3 years now and I have never been approached by a landman or anyone with a lease of any kind.


The rest of the certificates overview


Thanks so much for the information. I will have to see if I can get away from home long enough to take a course or two.


XTO has never offered me any type of lease or even a division order. I believe that makes me a non-consent and therefore I should not have been assessed with all these charges. Am I correct? I have come to believe that XTO simply assumes that most people will not check into these things and they can get away with whatever they choose. Dealing fairly with people is not their priority.