Mineral Interests

  • Many people contact the County Recorder’s office inquiring about suspected mineral ownership in North Dakota. As North Dakota law allows the “severing” of mineral interests (often called “mineral rights”) from “surface ownership,” the tracing of this ownership can be complex.
  • For an individual wishing to research possible mineral interests, the only effective method is thorough review of the recorded documents. The review CANNOT be conducted by a County Recorder – county officials can make copies of specific documents requested (for an appropriate fee), but may not conduct the research often necessary to identify the relevant documents. This research must be conducted by the individual themselves or a private land record researcher. Some records are available online through NDRIN, but in many cases, on-site review of the records is necessary.
  • Any mineral interest may be deemed abandoned if there has been no recorded mineral activity for a period of twenty years. Please see NDCC 38-18.1-02 for what is considered mineral activity.  
  • In accordance with section 38-18.1-04, a Statement of Mineral Claim form may be recorded to satisfy mineral interest activity requirements.
  • Statement of Mineral Claim Form
  • For more information on mineral ownership please visit ND Oil & Gas Division.