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Mineral Rights Lawyer North Dakota

Oil and gas law firm

Oil and Gas Mineral Rights Attorney

Whether you're a landowner, investor, or involved in the industry, rely on our expertise to guide you through the complexities of mineral rights law. From complex title issues to lease negotiations, our skilled team is committed to helping you maximize your mineral interest.


Insight into North Dakota Mineral Right Ownership

Colorado, Wyoming, North Dakota Service Areas

Mineral rights involve the legal ownership associated with resources like oil, gas, coal, and other valuable minerals. North Dakota mineral rights are distinct from surface land ownership, enabling people and entities to exercise their mineral rights in coordination with oil and gas development. The framework governing mineral rights in North Dakota is guided by a mix of state and federal laws, addressing various aspects such as leasing, drilling practices, environmental safeguards, and royalty payments. 

The Bakken Formation covers the western part of North Dakota, eastern part of Montana, and parts of Canada. Within North Dakota, the Bakken extends into the following counties: Williams, McKenzie, Mountrail, Dunn, Divide, Burke, Billings, and Stark County.

At the Law Office of Josh Krieg, we specialize in addressing a wide range of mineral right matters, including the transfer of mineral ownership involving complex probate proceedings. We understand the intricacies involved in transferring and managing inherited mineral assets and addressing challenges that may arise during the probate and title transfer process. Ready to move forward? Enter your details in the form below to set up a free consultation. Have more questions? Give us a call at 970-420-7491!

Generating income from mineral rights: Royalties and lease payments

Owners of mineral rights generate income through different avenues, such as lease bonuses and royalties. Upon leasing their mineral rights to oil and gas companies, owners typically receive an upfront lease bonus, typically a lump sum payment. In addition, mineral owners receive royalty payments, a portion of the minerals’ value extracted, as compensation for granting companies access to their land for extraction. Royalty payments offer a consistent income stream throughout the production period. Mineral owners can also opt to sell their mineral interests for a lump sum payment. This provides immediate financial benefit without ongoing involvement or risks linked to exploration. Selling mineral interests entails forfeiting future profit rights from resource extraction on the property. 

When selling mineral rights, determining the market value involves various factors. These include the estimated reserves of minerals beneath the land, the current demand for those minerals in the market, the prevailing prices for similar rights in the region, and any existing leases or production history. Additionally, factors such as geological surveys, the potential for future drilling, and the ease of access to the minerals can also influence the market value of the mineral rights.

Common Legal Issues with North Dakota Mineral Rights:

Common legal issues involving mineral rights in North Dakota include probate proceedings for transferring ownership of mineral rights after the owner’s death. Similarily, ancillary probate issues may arise when the deceased mineral right owner lived outside of North Dakota while owning mineral rights within North Dakota. Also, issues related to abandoned mineral rights and inherited mineral rights can arise, requiring legal mineral title clarification and resolution. 

North Dakota Mineral Right Probate Issue Example

Mick and Cindy, both residents of North Dakota, owned mineral rights in Williams County, North Dakota. Mick had executed a valid North Dakota Last Will & Testament listing Cindy as his sole beneficiary of his estate. Assuming Mick did not do any specific estate planning for his mineral rights, following his passing, Cindy would seek to transfer the mineral rights to her name through the probate process. Since Mick had executed a valid Last Will, the mineral rights would pass according to the terms outlined in his will. However, depending on the titling of the mineral rights, Cindy may have to open a probate proceeding to receive the necessary court paperwork to transfer the estate of Mick’s mineral interest to Cindy as an individual. Upon the completion of the probate process and the execution of a valid personal representative deed, which was properly recorded in the Williams county courthouse, Cindy would become the sole owner of the mineral rights in Williams County. 

Mineral Right Ancillary Probate Issue with Example: 

In the event where Mick & Cindy were residents of Montana and Mick owned mineral interest in Williams County, North Dakota, upon Mick’s death, Cindy may have to execute an ancillary probate proceeding in order to transfer Mick’s mineral interest to herself. Ancillary probate is a legal process that occurs when an individual passes away owning property in a state where they were not a resident. In such cases, their estate may need to go through probate in both their state of residence and the state where the property is located. Ancillary probate ensures that the property located outside the decedent’s state of residence is properly transferred to the rightful heirs or beneficiaries according to the laws of that state. Abandoned Mineral Rights One common mineral rights issue in North Dakota is dealing with abandoned mineral rights. Mineral rights may become dormant or abandoned due to various reasons, such as unclear ownership, lack of activity, or inadequate documentation. Resolving abandoned mineral rights often involves extensive research to determine rightful ownership, potential heirs, or interested parties. Legal proceedings may be necessary to clarify ownership and facilitate the proper utilization or transfer of the mineral rights.

Transferring North Dakota Mineral Rights: How to Change Ownership

Transferring North Dakota mineral right ownership often involves the preparation and execution of a deed. The deed functions as a legal instrument formally transferring ownership of mineral rights from the current owner (the grantor) to the recipient (the grantee). Different types of deeds, such as a warranty deed, quitclaim deed, or mineral deed, may be utilized based on jurisdictional requirements. Typically, the deed contains information such as a description of the mineral rights, the names of the grantor and grantee, and any conditions or restrictions of the conveyance. Following proper execution, the deed may require recording with the relevant government agency, like the county clerk’s office. 

Deeds are pivotal in mineral rights transfer, offering legal assurance and clarity to all involved parties. First, records act as tangible evidence of ownership, offering protection against disputes or challenges to ownership rights. Second, clear title to mineral rights streamline transactions, providing clarity for companies and individuals looking to lease or purchase mineral rights. Additionally, updated records help ensure that mineral right owners receive equitable compensation for mineral extraction, reducing the potential for ownership disputes. 

How do I know if I own mineral rights?

Determining ownership of mineral rights typically involves researching property records, including the review of historic deeds, titles, and land surveys. Examining historical documents allows the determination of whether mineral rights were reserved or conveyed when the property was initially divided or sold. Additionally, consulting with a professional, such as a landman or a mineral right attorney, can help interpret the legal complexities and provide clarity regarding mineral ownership. In addition, understanding ownership of mineral rights can also involve discussions with family members regarding historical conveyances and ownership arrangements. Family members may possess valuable insights or documents that shed light on the history of the property and any mineral rights associated with the property.

Mineral Rights Lawyers You Can Trust

Below is a list of services we provide to meet your legal needs:

  • Mineral Title Searches
  • Oil and Gas Lease Negotiations
  • Identifying and curing title defects
  • Mineral and Surface Deed Preparation and Review
  • Probate Proceedings Involving the Distribution of Mineral Rights
  • Family Generational Estate Planning for Mineral Interest

At the Law Office of Josh Krieg, we possess extensive knowledge in the complexities of mineral rights ownership. Please reach out for a free consultation of your legal situation.

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