North Dakota Offers Protections to Surface Landowners

In an era of increasing oil exploration, the North Dakota legislature is seeking to increase protections for landowners who do not control the mineral rights to their properties.
Over the past several years, with oil and gas prices on the rise and with Americans looking more and more at domestic fuel and energy production, farmers and landowners have increasingly started selling mineral rights as a way to make some much needed cash.
Essentially, farmers sell the rights to mineral deposits underneath their farmland. Oil or natural gas deposits, for example, could be exploited by oil companies while farmers still retained the surface rights to their land.
These deals, however, have led to conflict as many farmers have begun complaining that mineral extraction can leave their farmland ecologically devastated.
In response to these concerns, North Dakota lawmakers have passed the Surface Damage Compensation Act, which requires oil companies to notify farmers in advance of mineral extraction and requires them to offer compensation to farmers for land damage, lost use, lost access, and lost value of improvements. If land owners and mineral owners cannot come to an agreement on these issues, the act empowers the courts to act as arbiters.
To learn more about agricultural financing opportunities contact a Farm Plus Financial representative by calling 866-929-5585.
Follow us on: Twitter
Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer