In news welcome to oil and gas operators, the North Dakota Supreme Court issued its decision in Vic Christensen Mineral Trust v. Enerplus Resources (USA) Corp., 2022 ND 8.
Oil & Gas
Members of our team have served as directors on trade association boards and government regulatory agencies, giving them first-hand knowledge of critical energy issues. That experience allows us to provide practical, straightforward solutions to help clients meet their energy development objectives.
What We Do
Our Oil & Gas group offers a comprehensive range of services to generation and transmission companies, independent oil and gas producers, major oil and gas producers, oil and gas pipeline companies, salt water and waste disposal companies, and service companies:
Our transactional work includes mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures of large energy assets, sale and purchase of oil and gas properties, project financing and refinancing, and complex exploration and farmout agreements.
We advise natural resource and energy companies on contractual matters and compliance with state and federal regulations. We are experienced in securing permits, licenses, and other approvals from state regulatory agencies in various states. In North Dakota, these agencies include the North Dakota Industrial Commission (NDIC), North Dakota Oil and Gas Division, North Dakota Public Service Commission (PSC), North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), North Dakota Office of The State Tax Commissioner, North Dakota State Water Commission (SWC) and the state engineer, North Dakota Department of Trust Lands, and North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT). We have extensive regulatory experience with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), U.S. Forest Service (USFS), and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Finally, we frequently work with local boards of county commissioners to secure zoning permits, special and conditional local land use permits, and ordinance variations.
We represent oil and gas exploration companies, drilling companies, oil field service companies, pipeline companies, and other businesses in state and federal litigation. Our attorneys provide representation in matters including, among others, real estate and surface use disputes, contract disputes, torts, quiet title actions, declaratory judgment actions, and other legal proceedings between operators and non-operators of oil and gas properties. We represent our clients from inception of a legal dispute through trial, and on appeal if necessary.
We routinely prepare drilling, division order, acquisition, surface, and other types of opinions. Our dedicated group has extensive experience examining complex issues involving riparian lands, railroad rights-of-way, federal lands, BIA lands, spacing units, depth severances, and overlapping spacing units. We work with landmen and abstract companies to ensure we provide a timely product tailored to our client’s needs and preferences. It is our goal to ensure that our clients are well-informed on the obvious and not-so-obvious issues.
News & Articles
October 11, 2021
The North Dakota Petroleum Council recently elected Fredrikson & Byron shareholder Lawrence Bender to serve a two-year term as the new chair of its board of directors.
August 19, 2021
Following a study by the University of North Dakota’s Energy & Environmental Research Center, the North Dakota legislature recently adopted a new law for underground storage of produced oil or gas.
June 23, 2021
The North Dakota Supreme Court recently addressed an issue of first impression related to the valuation point of oil for purposes of determining royalty due to a mineral owner.
October 28, 2020
Designed to prevent ownership of land from being controlled forever (or in perpetuity), the Rule Against Perpetuities provides that a contingent interest must vest within 21 years of a life in being. This definition includes many words that need to be defined for full context.
August 25, 2020
Revenue held in suspense due to ambiguities related to the location of the ordinary high water mark below Lake Sakakawea will be required to be released from suspense by December 24, 2020, or June 24, 2022, depending upon location of the lands.
North Dakota Supreme Court Issues Decision Regarding Ownership of Minerals Beneath Railroad Rights of Way
July 23, 2015
The North Dakota Supreme Court issued its decision in EOG Resources, Inc. v. Soo Line Railroad Company, 2015 ND 187 on July 15, 2015. Prior to the issuance of this decision, most attorneys examining title to lands in North Dakota took one of two contrary positions relating to the ownership of the minerals beneath railroad rights of way which were evidenced by “Right of Way Deeds” or other similar instruments conveying strips of land to a railway company. Some attorneys treated these deeds as creating easements only, following the legal theory that because the railroad could have condemned the strip of land as an easement, it could have only obtained from the fee owner by a conveyance what it would have obtained by way of a condemnation. This position followed the logic outlined in Lalim v. Williams County, 105 N.W.2d 339 (N.D. 1960). The second position taken by other attorneys was that Lalim did not apply, and that the plain language of the deeds resulted in a conveyance of full fee title. This position was often accompanied by the citation to State v. Rosenquist, 51 N.W.2d 767 (N.D. 1952).