ND Dormant Minerals - LLC


I’ve reviewed the ND verbiage on dormant minerals and have the following question. I think I know the answer, but I’m not an attorney - so just wanted to get others thoughts.

The statute lists a variety of situations where a deed would be “deemed in use” and thus not subject to dormant minerals. Among other things, it states :

The mineral interest on any tract is subject to a lease, mortgage, assignment, or conveyance of the mineral interest recorded in the office of the recorder in the county in which the mineral interest is located.

If a royalty is moved from an individual to an LLC, would this satisfy the deemed use requirement of the statute and reset the 20 year clock on filing a “statement of claim”? I’m thinking this would be a yes, since a deed would be required to be filed with the county to achieve this transfer of ownership; but wasn’t sure since the language doesn’t specifically mention deed (perhaps assignment or conveyance covers this??)

thank you,

I cannot speak to the legal side, but from the “just reset the clock anyway” side (and upon advice from our attorney), I filed for every tract in our LLC that we had, whether or not it was leased, in production or non-leased and dormant. Leases will expire or production might cease in the 20 year time frame and I did not want a random set of times to clutter my calendar or have to constantly be on the watch for tracts going dormant and up for reclamation. Filed with each county and also put the copy of the paperwork in the file folder for each tract to warn my heirs of the next re-set date.

You said you filed something on advice of your attorney. What did you file?

thank you for your response M_Barnes

Hello Todd,

a deed was filed with the county that conveyed mineral interests from individual to LLC.

Understand that. But Martha stated : “(and upon advice from our attorney), I filed for every tract in our LLC that we had…”. I am wanted to know what was filed that reset the clock. Filing a deed transfers ownership no doubt, but doubtful she filed a deed transferring title from one entity to another, but maybe so.

I filed the “Statement of Claim of Mineral Interests” using the draft form style (attached) drawn up by our attorney and leaving the proper margins required by the counties for the filing stamp and notary stamp. My ancestor had filed 20 years earlier. (They were quite particular about the margins back then.) I noticed that the Chapter quoted of the North Dakota Century Code had changed from the earlier filing, so our attorney gave me the correct updated one. I filed ten years ago, so anyone filing now should make sure they have the correct Chapter referenced. Relatively inexpensive. A certain fee for the first page and a lesser fee for any additional pages as you can file multiple tracts on the same filing for each county. KEEP A COPY OF EVERYTHING and send by Certified Mail return receipt. I sent a check to each county-before the days of online filing. Do not mix up your counties. File each one individually with only the tracts that belong in that particular county. I attached a cover letter to each filing that stated the certified mail receipt and gave my phone number if they had any questions. As I mentioned earlier, our attorney suggested filing on every tract so that dates would be stable. I kept all of the return receipts in my county files as proof of filing along with a copy of what I filed.


That’s what I wanted. Thanks.

Our transfer from personal ownership into LLC was many decades ago, so the transfer deeds were filed way back then that transferred the ownership. We have continued to keep filing the dormant paperwork every 20 years with the LLC name. That first deed transfer might have fulfilled the rules originally, but only for 20 years (my opinion only but confirmed by our attorney). We keep claiming them every 20 years after the first filing just to keep our ownership updated with the county clerk. Sure glad we did! No one thought about the shale play back them.

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