North Dakota Press Release
Bismarck, ND October 16, 2013
Today North Dakota mineral owners filed ten class action lawsuits in North Dakota state district court against oil companies operating in North Dakota’s Bakken oilfield, seeking damages for natural gas flared – or burnt off into the atmosphere – from oil wells in violation of state flaring laws. Copies of the complaints filed are available at www.ndgasflaringlitigation.com
The named plaintiffs and the class members they seek to represent in each case are western North Dakota mineral rights owners who potentially have lost millions of dollars in royalties due to producers’ practice of burning off large quantities of gas rather than selling it. The lawsuits seek to force operators to comply with state law and pay royalties to mineral owners on the value of flared gas, and by so doing create a compelling economic incentive for producers to reduce and eliminate the wasteful practice of flaring. Bakken natural gas is some of the most valuable gas in the country due to its density of natural gas liquids (NGLs).
Flaring of natural gas from North Dakota oil wells is a controversial practice that has more than doubled in volume in the last two years, according to recent reports. NASA photos of flaring in North Dakota oilfields taken from space resemble a large urban area rivaling Minneapolis-St. Paul and Chicago in size. The North Dakota Industrial Commission, which regulates the state's oil and gas industry, is working hard to regulate the recent Bakken shale oil and gas boom and with public support is looking for ways to reduce wasteful wholesale flaring of valuable gas.
For more information please contact Derrick Braaten at Baumstark Braaten Law Partners in Bismarck, ND 701-221-2911